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Full text of "Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources;"

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Cornell  University  Library 
DS  592.W94 

Twentieth  century  impressions  of  British 

3   1924  023   134  368    .*.,.. 

The  original  of  this  book  is  in 
the  Cornell  University  Library. 

There  are  no  known  copyright  restrictions  in 
the  United  States  on  the  use  of  the  text. 




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Editor  in  Chief:   ARNOLD  WRIGHT  (London). 
ASSISTANT  Editor:    H.  A.  CARTWRIGHT  (Singapore). 

LONDON,     DURBAN,     COLOMBO,     PERTH     (W.A.),     SINGAPORE,     HONGKONG,     AND 





\f\i  -U>L:l7o 






HIS  work  is  ihc  outcome  of  an  enterprise  licsignal  to  liivc  in  an  altrachve  Jonii  full 
and  reliable  information  willi  reference  to  the  outlying  parts  of  the  Empire.  The 
value  of  a  fuller  knowledge  of  the  '■  Britains  beyond  ttic  Sea"  and  ttie  great  depen- 
dencies of  the  Croivn  as  a  means  of  tiglitening  the  bonds  which  unite  the  component 
parts  of  the  King's  dominions  was  insisted  upon  by  Mr.  Chamberlain  in  a  memorable 
speech,  and  the  same  note  ran  through  the  Prince  of  Wales's  impressive  Mansion 
House  address  in  which  His  Royal  Highness  summed  up  the  lessons  of  his  lour  through 
the  Empire,  from  ivhicli  he  had  Hum  fust  returned.  In  some  instances,  notably  in 
the  case  of  Canada,  the  local  Governments  have  done  much  to  difluse  in  a  popular  form  infoi  niation  relative 
to  the  territory  which  they  administer.  But  there  are  other  centres  in  wliich  olficial  enteifrise  in  this  direction 
has  not  been  possible,  or,  at  all  events,  in  wliich  action  has  not  been  taken,  and  it  is  in  this  prolilic  Held  lliat 
the  publishers  are  working.  So  far  tliev  have  found  ample  fustijication  for  tlicir  labours  in  the  widespread 
public  interest  taken  in  their  operations  in  the  colonies  which  have  been  the  scene  of  Hair  ivork,  and  in  the 
extremely  cordial  reception  given  by  the  Press,  both  home  and  colonial,  to  ttie  completed  results. 

Briefly,  the  aim  which  the  publishers  keep  steadily  before  Hi  em  is  to  give  a  perfect  microcosm  of  the  colony 
or  dependency  treated.  As  old  Stow  with  patient  application  and  scrupulous  regard  tor  accuracy  set  himself  to 
survey  the  London  of  his  day,  so  the  workers  employed  in  tlie  production  of  this  scries  endeavour  to  give  a  picture, 
complete  in  every  particular,  of  Hie  distant  possessions  of  the  Croivn.  Bui  topography  is  only  one  of  ttie  features 
treated.  Responding  to  modern  needs  and  tastes,  the  literary  investigators  devote  their  attention  to  every  important 
phase  of  life,  bringing  to  the  elucidation  of  the  subjects  treated  the  powerful  aid  of  the  latest  and  best  metliods 
of  pictorial  illustration.  Thus  a  work  is  compiled  which  is  not  only  of  solid  iind  enduring  value  for  purposes  of 
reference  and  for  practical  business  objects,  but  is  of  unique  interest  to  all  who  arc  interested  in  Hie  developnient 
of  the  Empire. 

Following  closely  upon  Hie  lines  of  Hie  earlier  works  of  Hie  series  on  JVcslerii  Australia,  Xatat.  and  Ceylon, 
this  volume  deals  e.yhaustively  willi  the  liistory.  administration,  peoples,  commerce,  industries,  and  potentialities 
of  the  Straits  Settlements  and  the  Federated  Malay  States — territories  ichich.  though  but  comparatively  little  known 
hitherto,  promise    to    become    of  very  great    commercial    importance    in    the   near    future.     By    reason    of    their 


scattered  nature,  wide  extent,  undeveloped  condition,  and  different  systems  of  government,  the  adequate 
treatment  of  them  has  presented  no  little  difficulty  to  the  compilers.  But  neither  trouble  nor  expense  has  been 
spared  in  the  attempt  to  secure  full  and  accurate  information  in  every  direction,  and,  wherever  possible,  the 
services  of  recognised  experts  have  been  enlisted.  The  general  historical  matter  has  been  written  after  an 
exhaustive  study  of  the  original  records  at  the  India  Office,  and  it  embodies  information  which  throws  a  new 
light  upon  some  aspects  of  the  early  life  of  the  Straits  Settlements.  For  the  facilities  rendered  in  the  prosecution 
of  his  researches  and  also  for  the  sanction  freely  given  to  him  to  reproduce  many  original  sketches  and  scarce 
prints  in  the  splendid  collection  at  the  India  Office  Library,  Whitehall,  the  Editor  has  to  offer  his  thanks  to  ike 
India  Council.  In  the  Straits  much  valued  assistance  has  been  rendered  by  the  heads  of  the  various 
Government  Departments,  and  the  Editor  is  especially  indebted  to  his  Excellency  Sir  John  Anderson,  K.C.M.G., 
the  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settlements  and  High  Commissioner  for  the  Federated  Malay  States,  who  has 
given  every  possible  encouragement  to  the  enterprise. 

Obviously  a  work  of  this  magnitude  cannot  be  produced  except  at  very  considerable  cost.  As  the  publishers 
do  not  ask  for  any  Government  subsidy,  because  of  the  restrictions  which  it  might  impose  upon  them,  this  cost 
has  to  be  met  in  part  by  receipts  from  the  sale  of  copies  and  in  part  by  revenue  from  the  insertion  of 
commercial  photographs.  The  publishers  venture  to  think  that  this  fact  furnishes  no  ground  for  adverse 
criticism.  The  principle  is  that  adopted  by  the  highest  class  of  newspapers  and  magazines  all  over  the  world. 
Moreover,  it  is  claimed  that  these  photographs  add  to,  rather  than  detract  from,  the  value  of  the  book. 
They  serve  to  show  the  manifold  interests  of  the  country,  and,  with  the  accompanying  descriptive  letterpress, 
which  is  independently  written  by  members  of  the  staff  from  personal  observation,  they  constitute  a  picturesque 
and  useful  feature  thai  is  not  without  interest  to  the  general  reader  and  student  of  economics,  while  it  is  of 
undoubted  value  to  business  men  throughout  the  British  Empire. 

November,  1907. 


The  Straits  Settlements.     By  Arnold  Wright — 

Early  History  ■  •  ...... 

Singapore     ....  ....  .  . 


Malacca       .  .....  ....  .  . 

The  Federated  Malay  States.     By  Arnold  Wright  (with  chapters  on  the  early  history 

of  the  Malays  and  the  Portuguese  and  Dutch  Periods  by  R.  J.  Wilkinson,  Secretary 

to  the  Resident  of  Perak)      ........  .... 

Christmas  Island,  the  Cocos-Keeling  Islands,  and  Labuan      .  ... 

The  Present  Day     ....  ...  .         . 

List  of  Governors  and  High  Commissioners 

Constitution  and  Law 

State  Finance  .  .  .... 

Opium  .  ... 

Gambling  and  Spirits       .         .  .  . 

Exports,    Imports,    and    Shipping.      By    A.    Stuart,    Registrar   of  Imports    and   Exports, 

Straits  Settlements  .  .  .... 

Harbours  and  Lighthouses  .  .  ..... 

Social  Life         ....  .         . 

The  Population  of  Malaya.     By  Mrs.  Reginald  Sanderson 

The  Malays   of   British    Malay'a.     By  B.   O.  Stoney,  Hon.  Sec.  of  the   Malay  Settlement, 

Kuala  Lunipor      .         .  .         ■  ... 

Malay  Literature.     By  R.  J.  Wilkinson      ...  .         . 

Native  Arts  and  Handicrafts.      By  L.  Wray,    I.S.O.,    M.I.E.E.,   F.Z.S.,  M.R.P.S.,  etc., 

Director  of  Museums,  Federated  Malay  States . 
Health  and  Hospitals     . 

Press.     By  W.  Makepeace       .  .  .         . 

Education.     By  J.  B.  Elcum,  B.A.  Oxon.,  Director  of  Public  Instruction,  Straits  Settlements 

and  Federated  Malay  States 
Religion     ....  ...  .  .        . 

Police.     By  Captain  W.  A.  Cuscaden,  Inspector-General   of  Police,  Straits   Settlements,  and 

Captain  H.  L.  Tal,bot,  Commissioner  of  Police,  Federated  Malay  States 
Prisons        .  .  ... 

Railways  .  .  .  .  . 

/  Public  Works   . 

Posts,  Telegraphs,  and  Telephones     .... 

Forests  of  Malaya.     By  A.  M.  Burn-Murdoch,  Conservator  of  Forests,  Federated  Malay 

States  and  Straits  Settlements        ... 












314  ^ 




Botany.     By  H.  N.  Ridley,  M.A.,  F.R.S.,  F.L.S.,  F.R.H.S.,  etc.,  Director  of  the  Botanical 
Gardens^  Singapore  .  .  .... 

Agriculture.     By  R.  Derry',  Assistant  Superintendent,  Botanical  Gardens,  Singapore    . 

Rubber.      By  J.  B.  Carruthers,  F.R.S.E.,  F.L.S.,  Director  of  Agriculture  and  Government 
Botanist,  Federated  Malay  States .         .  ....  ... 

Coconut  Cultivation.     By  L.  C.  Brown,  Inspector  of  Coconut  Plantations,  Federated  Malay 

The  Pineapple  Industry 


Fisheries    . 

Meteorology     .... 

Geology.     By  J.  B.  Scrivenor,  Government  Geologist,  Federated  Malay  States 

Sport.     By  Theodore  R.  Hubback 

Military     . 

The  Straits  Settle.ments — 


The  Federated  Malay  States — 
Kuala  Lumpor 
Negri  Sambilan 


Social  and  Professional 

Indfstrial  . 

Commercial  ... 

Fauna.     By  H.  C.  Robinson,  Curator,  Selangor  Museum 
Information  for  Tourists 
Concluding  Note 
Index . 




599  .r 



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bi 9 d^ 

liW  of  the  oversea  pos- 
sessions of  the  Crown, 
outside  India  and  the 
great  self  -  governing 
colonies,  can  compare  in 
interest  and  importance 
with  the  Straits  Settle- 
ments. They  are  situ- 
ated in  a  region  which 
Nature  has  marked  out  as  one  of  the  great 
strategic  centres  of  the  world  alilce  for  pur- 
poses of  war  and  of  commerce.  "Within  its 
narrowest  limits,"  wrote  the  gifted  statesman ' 
to  whom  Britain  owes  the  possession  to-day  of 
the  most  important  unit  of  this  magnificent 
group  of  colonies,  "  it  embraces  the  whole  of 
the  vast  Archipelago  which,  stretching  from 
Sumatra  and  Java  to  the  Islands  of  the  Pacific 
and  thence  to  the  shores  of  China  and  Japan, 
has  in  all  ages  excited  the  attention  and 
attracted  the  cupidity  of  more  civilised  nations; 
an  area  whose  valuable  and  peculiar  produc- 
tions contributed  to  swell  the  extravagance  of 
Roman  luxury,  and  one  which  in  more  modern 
times  has  raised  the  power  and  consequence 

'  Sir  T.  Stamford  Raffles,  "  Memoir  on  the  Adminis- 
tration of  the  Eastern  Islands,"  in  Lady  Raffles's 
"  Memoir  of  SirT.  Stamford  RafHes,"  Appendix  L,  25. 


of  every  successive  European  nation  into  whose 
hands  its  commerce  has  fallen  ;  and  which, 
further,  perhaps  in  its  earliest  period  among 
the  Italian  States,  communicated  the  first 
electric  spark  which  awoke  to  life  the  energies 
and  the  literature  of  Europe." 

England's  interest  in  this  extensive  region 
dates  back  to  the  very  dawn  of  her  colonial 
history.  The  foundations  of  theexisting  colonies 
were  laid  in  "the  spacious  age  "  of  Elizabeth,  in 
the  period  following  the  defeat  of  the  Spanish 
Armada,  when  the  great  Queen's  reign  was 
drawing  to  its  splendid  close  in  a  blaze  of 
triumphant  commercial  achievement. 

Drake  carried  the  English  flag  through  the 
Straits  of  Malacca  in  his  famous  circumnaviga- 
tion of  the  world  in  1579.  But  it  was  left  to 
another  of  the  sturdy  band  of  Elizabethan 
adventurers  to  take  the  first  real  step  in  the 
introduction  of  English  influence  into  the 
archipelago.  The  Empire-builder  who  laid  the 
corner-stone  of  the  noble  edifice  of  which  we 
are  treating  was  James  Lancaster,  a  bluff  old 
sailor  who  had  served  his  apprenticeship  in  the 
first  school  of  English  seamanship  of  that  or 
any  other  day.  It  is  probable  that  he  accom- 
panied Drake  on  his  tour  round  the  world  :  he 
certainly  fought  with  him  in  the  great  struggle 

against  the  Armada.  After  that  crowning  vic- 
tory, when  the  seas  were  opened  everywhere  to 
vessels  bearing  the  English  flag,  men's  thoughts 
were  cast  towards  that  Eldorado  of  the  East 
of  which  glowing  accounts  had  been  brought 
back  by  the  early  adventurers.  Then  was  laid 
the  corner-stone  of  the  structure  which,  in  pro- 
cess of  time,  developed  into  the  mighty  Eastern 
Empire  of  Britain.  The  first  direct  venture 
was  the  despatch  of  three  small  ships,  with 
Lancaster  as  second  in  command,  to  the 
East.  Quitting  Plymouth  on  .\pril  10,  1591, 
these  tiny  vessels,  mere  cockboats  compared 
with  the  leviathans  which  now  traverse  the 
ocean,  after  an  adventurous  voyage  reached 
Pulo  Pinang  in  June  of  the  same  year.  The 
crews  of  the  squadron  were  decimated  by 
disease.  On  Lancaster's  ship,  the  Edward 
Bonavcutnrc,  there  were  left  of  a  complement 
of  upwards  of  a  hundred  "  only  33  men  and 
one  boy,  of  which  not  past  22  were  found  for 
labour  and  help,  and  of  them  not  past  a  third 
sailors."  Nevertheless,  after  a  brief  sojourn 
Lancaster  put  to  sea,  and  in  August  captured  a 
small  Portuguese  vessel  laden  with  pepper, 
another  of  250  tons  burthen,  and  a  third  of  750 
tons.  \A'ith  these  valuable  prizes  the  daring 
adventurer  proceeded  home,  afterwards  touch- 



ing  at  Point  de  Galle,  in  Ceylon,  to  recruit. 
The  return  voyage  was  marked  by  many 
thrilling  episodes,  but  eventually  the  ships  got 
safely  to  their  destinations,  though  of  the  crew 
of  198  who  had  doubled  the  Cape  only  25 
landed  again  in  England. 

The  terrible  risks  of  the  adventure  were  soon 
forgotten  in  the  jubilation  which  was  caused  by 
the  results  achieved.  These  were  of  a  char- 
acter to  fire  men's  imaginations.  On  the  one 
hand  the  voyagers  had  to  show  the  valuable 
booty  which  they  had  captured  from  the  Portu- 
guese ;  on  the  other  they  were  able  to  point  to 
the  breaking  of  the  foreign  monopoly  of  the 
lucrative  Eastern  trade  which  was  implied  in 
their  success.  The  voyage  marked  an  epoch 
in  English    commercial    history.     As  a   direct 

On  June  5th  following  the  fleet  reached  Achin. 
A  most  cordial  reception  awaited  Lancaster  at 
the  hands  of  the  King  of  Achin.  The  fame  of 
England's  victory  over  Spain  had  enormously 
enhanced  her  prestige  in  the  Eastern  world, 
and  in  Achin  there  was  the  greater  disposition 
to  show  friendliness  to  the  English  because 
of  the  bitter  enmity  of  the  Achinese  to  the 
Portuguese,  whose  high-handed  dealings  had 
created  a  lively  hatred  of  their  rule.  Lan- 
caster, who  bore  with  him  a  letter  from  the 
Queen  to  the  native  potentate,  seems  to  have 
been  as  clever  a  diplomat  as  he  was  able  a 
sailor.  The  royal  missive  was  conveyed  to  the 
native  Court  with  great  pomp.  In  delivering  it 
with  a  handsome  present,  Lancaster  declared 
that  the  purpose  of  his  coming  was  to  establish 


(Reproduced  by  permission  of  the  Lords  of  the  Admiralty  from  the  picture  in  the  Gallery  at  Greenwich  Hospital.) 
Drake  was  the  first  EngUshman  to  navigate  a  ship  through  the  Straits  of  Malacca. 

result  of  it  followed  the  formation  of  the  East 
India  Company.  The  various  steps  which  led 
up  to  that  important  event  lie  beyond  the  pro- 
vince of  the  present  narrative.  It  is  sufficient 
for  the  purposes  in  hand  to  note  that  when  the 
time  had  come  for  action  Lancaster  was  selected 
by  the  adventurers  to  command  the  Company's 
first  fleet,  and  that  he  went  out  duly  commisr 
sioned  by  the  authority  of  the  Queen  as  their 
Governor-General."  Established  in  the  Red 
Dragon,  a  ship  of  600  tons  burthen,  and  with 
three  other  vessels  under  his  control,  Lancaster 
sailed  from  Woolwich  on  February  13,  1600-1. 

"  This  point,  which  has  been  overlooked  by  man\- 
writers,  is  made  clear  by  this  entry  to  be  found  in 
the  Hatfield  Manuscripts  (Historical  Manuscripts 
Commission),  Part  xi.  p.  18  :  "  i5oo-i,  Jan.  24th. 
Letters  patent  to  James  Lancaster,  chosen  by  the 
Governor  and  Company  of  the  Merchants  of  London 
trading  to  the  East  Indies  as  their  Governor-General. 
The  Queen  approves  of  their  choice,  and  grants 
authority  to  Lancaster  to  exercise  the  office." 

peace  and  amity  between  his  royal  mistress  and 
her  loving  brother  the  miglity  King  of  Achin. 
Not  to  be  outdone  in  courtesy,  the  Sumatran 
prince  invited  Lancaster  and  his  officers  to  a 
magnificent  banquet,  in  which  the  service  was 
of  gold,  and  at  which  the  King's  damsels,  richly 
attired  and  adorned  with  jewellery,  attended, 
and  danced  and  sang  for  the  guests'  edification. 
The  culminating  feature  of  the  entertainment 
was  the  investiture  of  Lancaster  by  the  King 
with  a  splendid  robe  and  the  presentation  to 
him  of  two  kriscs — the  characteristic  weapon  of 
Malaya,  without  which  no  honorific  dress  is 
considered  complete  by  the  Malays.  What  was 
more  to  the  purpose  than  these  honours,  grati- 
fying as  they  were  to  the  Englishmen,  was  the 
appointment  of  two  nobles,  one  of  whom  was 
the  chief  priest,  to  settle  with  Lancaster  the 
terms  of  a  commercial  treaty.  The  negotiations 
proceeded  favourably,  and  in  due  course  Lan- 

caster  was  able  to  congratulate  h.mself  on 
having  secured  for  his  country  a  formal  and 
exp lick  right  to  trade  in  Achin.  The  progress 
expncu  iit,iiL  watched  with 

of  events,  meanwhile,  was  Demg  w 
jealous  anxiety  by  the  Portugiiese  who  knew 
'that  the  intrusion  of  so  formidable  a  rival  as 
England  into  their  sphere  of  influence  boded  ill 
for  the  future  of  their  power.  Attempts  were 
actually  made  to  sterilise  the  negotiations,  but 
Lancaster  was  too  well  acquainted  with  Portu- 
guese wiles  to  be  taken  at  a  disadvantage.  On 
the  contrary,  his  skill  enabled  him  to  turn  the 
Portuguese  weapons  against  themselves.  By 
bribing  the  spies  sent  to  Achin  he  got  informa- 
tion which  led  to  the  capture  of  a  rich  prize 
—a  fully  laden  vessel  of  900  tons— in  the  Straits 
of  Malacca.  Returning  to  Achin  after  this  ex- 
pedition, Lancaster  made  preparations  for  the 
homeward  voyage,  loading  his  ships  with 
pepper,  then  a  costly  commodity  in  England 
ovifing  to  the  monopolising  policy  of  the  Portu- 
guese and  the  Spaniards.  He  seems  to  have 
continued  to  the  end  in  high  favour  with  the 
King.  At  the  farewell  interview  the  old  monarch 
asked  Lancaster  and  his  officers  to  favour  him 
by  singing  one  of  the  Psalms  of  David.  This 
singular  request  was  complied  with,  the  selec-  ,; 
tionbeing  given  with  much  solemnity.'  On  Nov- 
ember 9,  1602,  the  Red  Dragon  weighed  anchor  I 
and  proceeded  to  Bantam,  where  Lancaster  %  t| ' 
established  a  factory.  A  second  trading  estab-  {  ■ 
lishment  was  formed  in  the  Moluccas.  This  done^ 
the  Red  Dragon,  with  two  of  the  other  vessels  of 
the  fleet,  steered  a  course  homeward.  The  little 
squadron  encountered  a  terrible  storm  off  the 
Cape,  which  nearly  ended  in  disaster  to  the 
enterprise.  Lancaster's  good  seamanship,  how- 
ever, brought  his  vessels  through  the  crisis 
safely.  It  says  much  for  the  indomitable  spirit 
of  the  man  that  when  the  storm  was  at  its 
height  and  his  own  vessel  seemed  on  the  point 
of  foundering  he  wrote,  for  transmission  by  one 
of  the  other  ships,  a  letter  to  his  employers  at 
home,  assuring  them  that  he  would  do  his 
utmost  to  save  the  craft  and  its  valuable  cargo, 
and  concluding  with  this  remarkable  sentence ; 
"  The  passage  to  the  East  Indies  lies  in  62  de- 
grees 30  minutes  by  the  NW.  on  the  America 
side."'  Lancaster  reached  England  on  Septem- 
ber II,  1603.  The  country  resounded  with 
praises  of  his  great  achievement.  Milton,  as 
a  boy,  must  have  been  deeply  impressed  with 
the  episode,  for  it  inspired  some  of  his  stateliest 
verse.  Obvious  references  to  Lancaster's  voy- 
ages are  to  be  found,  as  Sir  George  Birdwood 
has  pointed  out,3  in  "  Paradise  Lost,"  in  the 
poet's  descriptions  of  Satan.  Thus,  in  Book  II. 
we  have  a  presentment  of  the  Evil  One  as  he 

"  Puts  on  swift  wings  and  then  soars 
Up  to  the  fiery  concave  towering  high 
As  when  far  off  at  sea  a  fleet  descried 
Hangs  in  the  clouds,  by  equinoctial  winds 
Close  sailing  from  Bengala,  or  the  isles 
Of  Ternate  aud  Tidore,  whence  merchants  bring 
Their  spicy  drugs ;  tliey  on  the  trading  flood 
Through  the  wide  Ethiopian  to  the  Cape 
Ply,  stemming  nightly  towards  the  Pole. 
So  seemed  far  off  the  flying  fiend." 

■  Marsden's  "  History  of  Sumatra,"  i.  p.  436. 

=  Hakluyt's  "  Principal  Xavigations,"  ii.  p.  2, 
1.   102. 

3  "  Report  on  the  Old  Records  of  the  East  India 
Company,"  p.  205. 



And  again  in  Book  IV.  : 

"  So  on  he  fares,  and  to  the  border  comes 
Of  Eden  .  . 
A  sylvan  scene  . 
Of  stateliest  view      .  . 

.  .  able  to  drive 
All  sadness  but  despair  ;  now  gentle  gales 
Fanning  their  odoriferous  wings,  dispense 
Native    perfumes,    and    whisper    whence     they 

Those   balmy  spoils.      As   when  to  them  who 

Beyond  the  Cape  of  Hope,  and  now  are  past 
Mozambick,  off  at  sea  North  East  winds  blow 
Sabean  odours  from  the  spicy  shore 
Of  Araby  the  Blest  ;  with  such  delay 
Well  pleased  they  slack  their  course,  and   many 

a  league 
Cheer'd    with    the    grateful    smell    Old    Ocean 

smiles  : 
So  entertain'd  those  odorous  sweets  the  fiend 
Who  came  their  bane." 

This  Rne  imagery  shows  how  deep  was  the 
impression  made  upon  the  nation  by  Lan- 
caster's enterprise.  But  it  was  in  its  practical 
aspects  that  the  success  achieved  produced  the 
most  striking  results.  The  immediate  frilit  of  the 
voyage  was  a  great  burst  of  commercial  activity. 
The  infant  East  India  Company  gained  ad- 
herents on  all  sides,  and  men  put  their-  capital 
into  it  in  confident  assurance  that  they  would 
reap  a  golden  return  on  their  investment.  So 
the  undertaking  progressed  until  it  took  its 
place  amongst  the  great  established  institutions 
of  the  country.  Meanwhile  Lancaster  dropped 
into  a  wealthy  retirement.  He  lived  for  a  good 
many  years  in  leisured  ease,  and  dying,  left  a 
substantial  fortune  to  his  heirs.. 

The  history  of  the  East  India  Company  in 
its  earliest  years  was  a  chequered  one.  The 
Dutch  viewed  the  intrusion  of  their  English 
rivals  into  the  Straits  with  jealous  apprehension, 
and  they  lost  no  opportunity  of  harassing  the 

trading  operations  of  both.  But  the  conditions 
of  the  compact  were  flagrantly  disregarded  by 
the  Dutch,  and  soon  the  relations  of  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  two  nations  were  on  a  more 

nearly  all  their  factories  from  the  archipelago, 
p'ive  years  later  the  factory  at  Bantam  was, 
however,  re-established  as  a  subordinate 
agency  to  Surat.     It  was  subsequently  (in  1634- 


Company's  agents.  In  1619  a  treaty  was  con- 
cluded between  the  English  and  the  Dutch 
Governments  with  a  view  to  preventing  the 
disastrous    disputes   which    had  impeded  the 

The  Red  Dragon,  Captain  ^^-^''^^  ^^   xl^c  ktr^at 

Anno  loOi-  -^ 

unfavourable  footing  than  ever.  Up  to  this 
time,  says  Sir  George  Birdwood,  the  English 
Company  had  no  territory  in  sovereign  right  in 
the  Indies  excepting  the  island  of  Lantore  or 
Great  Banda.  This  island  was  governed  by  a 
commercial  agent  who  had  under  him  30 
Europeans  as  clerks,  and  these,  with  250  armed 
Malays,  constituted  the  only  force  by  which  it 
was  protected.  In  the  islands  of  Banda,  Pulo 
Roon,  and  Rosengyn,  and  at  Macassar  and 
Achin  and  Bantam,  the  Company's  factories  and 
agents  were  without  any  military  defence.  In 
1620,  notwithstanding  the  Treaty  of  Defence, 
the  Dutch  expelled  the  English  from  Pulo  Roon 
and  Lantore,  and  in  1621  from  Bantam.  On 
the  17th  February,  1622-23,  occurred  the  famous 
massacre  of  Araboyna,  which  remained  as  a 
deep  stain  on  the  English  name  until  it  was 
wiped  out  by  Cromwell  in  the  Treaty  of  West- 
minster of  1654.  In  1624  the  English,  unable 
to   oppose   the    Dutch   any   longer,    withdrew 

35)  again  raised  to  an  independent  presidency, 
and  for  some  years  continued  to  be  the  chief 
seat  of  the  Company's  power  in  the  Straits. 
The  factory  was  long  a  thorn  in  the  Dutch  side, 
and  they  adopted  a  characteristic  method  to 
extract  it.  In  1677  the  Sultan  of  Bantam  had 
weakly  shared  the  regal  power  with  his  son. 
This  act  led  to  dissensions  between  parent  and 
child,  and  finally  to  open  hostilities.  The  Dutch 
favoured  the  young  Sultan  and  actively  assisted 
him.  The  English  threw  the  weight  of  their 
influence  into  the  scale  in  favour  of  the  father. 
They  acted  on  the  sound  general  principle  of  up- 
holding the  older  constituted  authority  ;  but 
either  from  indecision  or  weakness  they  re- 
frained from  giving  more  than  moral  support  to 
iheir  pro  lege.  When,  as  subsequently  happened, 
the  young  Sultan  signally  defeated  his  father  and 
seated  himself  firmly  on  the  throne  as  the  sole 
ruler  of  the  State,  they  paid  the  penalty  of  their 
lack  of  initiative  by  losing  their  pied  ,'i  terre  in 




Bantam.  On  April  I,  1682,  the  factory  was 
taken  possession  of  by  a  party  of  Dutch 
soldiers,  and  on  the  12th  August  following  the 

to  repair  the  mischief  caused  by  the  Dutch. 
The  outcome  of  their  deliberations  with  the 
authorities  at  the  Western  India   factory  was 

VIEW    OF    THE    ISLAND    OF    BANDA. 

agent  and  his  council  were  deported  in  Dutch 
vessels  to  Batavia.  A  twelvemonth  later  the 
expropriated  officials  were  at  Surat,  attempting 

the  despatch  of  a  mission,  headed  by  Messrs. 
Ord  and  Cawley,  two  expert  officials,  to  Achin, 
to  set  up,  if  possible,  a  factory  there  to  take  the 

place  of  the  one  which  had  existed  at  Bantam. 
On  arrival  at  their  destination  the  envoys  found 
established  upon  the  throne  a  line  of  queens. 
The  fact  that  a  female  succession  had  been 
adopted  is  thought  by  Marsden,  the  historian  of 
Sumatra,  to  have  been  due  to  the  influence 
exercised  by  our  Queen  Elizabeth,  whose  won- 
derful success  against  the  Spanish  arms  had 
carried  her  fame  to  the  archipelago,  where  the 
Spanish  and  Portuguese  power  was  feared  and 
hated.  However  that  may  be,  the  English 
mission  was  received  with  every  mark  of 
respect  by  the  reigning  Queen — Anayet  Shah. 
Suspicions  appear  to  have  been  entertained  by 
the  visitors  that  her  Majesty  was  not  a  woman, 
but  a  eunuch  dressed  up  in  female  apparel. 
Marsden,  however,  thinks  that  they  were  mis- 
taken in  their  surmise,  and  he  cites  a  curious 
incident  related  in  the  record  drawn  up  by 
Messrs.  Ord  and  Cawley  of  their  proceedings 
as  conclusive  evidence  that  his  view  is  the 
correct  one.  "  We  went  to  give  an  audience  at 
the  palace  this  day  as  customary,"  write  the 
envoys  ;  "  being  arrived  at  the  place  of  audience 
with  the  Orang  Kayos,  the  Queen  was  pleased  to 
order  us  to  come  nearer,  when  her  Majesty  was 
very  inquisitive  into  the  use  of  our  wearing 
periwigs,  and  what  was  the  convenience  of 
them,  to  all  of  which  we  returned  satisfactory 
answers.  After  this  her  Majesty  desired  of 
Mr.  Ord,  if  it  were  no  affront  to  him,  that  he 
should  take  off  his  periwig  that  she  might  see 
how  he  appeared  without  it  ;  which,  according 



to  her  Majesty's  request,  he  did.  She  then  told 
us  she  had  heard  of  our  business,  and  would 
give  her  answer  by  the  Orang  Kayos,  and  so 

proof  against  English  determination.  Gra- 
dually but  surely  the  East  India  Company's 
authority  at  the  chosen  centres   was  consoli- 

(From  \\\  Alexander's  drawings  to  illustrate  Lord  Macartney's  Embassy  to  China.) 

we  retired."  The  Queen's  reply  was  a  favour- 
able one,  but  circumstances  rendered  it  un- 
necessary to  proceed  further  with  the  scheme 
of  establishing  a  factory  in  Achin.  It  chanced 
that  the  visit  of  the  English  mission  coincided 
with  the  arrival  in  Achin  of  a  number  of  chiefs 
of  Priaman  and  other  places  on  the  West  Coast 
of  Sumatra,  and  these,  hearing  of  the  English 
designs,  offered  a  site  for  a  factory,  with  the 
exclusive  right  of  purchasing  their  pepper.  Mr. 
Ord  readily  listened  to  their  proposals,  and  he 
ultimately  got  the  chiefs  to  embark  with  him  for 
Madras,  for  the  purpose  of  completing  a  formal 
arrangement.  The  business  was  carried  through 
by  the  Governor  of  Madras  in  the  beginning  of 
the  year  1685  on  the  terms  proposed.  Subse- 
quently an  expedition  was  fitted  out  with  the 
object  of  establishing  the  factory  at  Priaman. 
A  short  time  before  it  sailed,  however,  an  invi- 
tation was  received  at  Madras  from  the  chiefs 
of  Beng  Kanlu  (Bencoolen)  to  make  a  settle- 
ment there.  In  view  of  the  fact  that  a  consider- 
able portion  of  the  pepper  that  was  formerly 
exported  from  Bantam  came  from  this  spot,  it 
was  deemed  advisable  that  Mr.  Ord  should  iirst 
proceed  there.  The  English  expedition  arrived 
at  Bencoolen  on  June  25,  168S,  and  Mr.  Ord 
took  charge  of  the  territory  assigned  to  the 
Company.  Afterwards  other  settlements  were 
formed  at  Indrapura  and  Manjuta.  At  Priaman 
the  Dutch  had  anticipated  the  English  action, 
and  the  idea  of  establishing  a  settlement  there 
had  to  be  abandoned.  The  Dutch  also  astutely 
prevented  the  creation  of  another  English 
trading  centre  at  Batang-Kapas  in  1686.  The 
unfriendly  disposition  shown  in  these  instances 
was  part  of  a  deliberate  policy  of  crushing  out 
English  trade  in  the  Straits.  Where  factories  had 
been  founded  the  Dutch  sought  to  nullify  them 
by  establishing  themselves  in  the  neighbour- 
hood and  using  the  utmost  influence  to  prevent 
the  country  people  from  trading  with  them. 
Their  machinations  were  not  in  the  long  run 

dated,  and  within  a  few  years  Bencoolen 
assumed  an  aspect  of  some  prosperity.  But  its 
progress  was  limited  by  an  unhealthy  situation, 
and  by  natural  disadvantages  of  a  more  serious 
character.  In  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century  the  old  settlement  was  abandoned  in 
favour  of  a  better  site  about  three  miles  away 
on  the  bay  of  Bencoolen..   The  new  town,  to 

of  dignity  by  reason  of  the  circumstance  that  it 
was  the  headquarters  of  the  Company's  power 
in  these  regions.  But  \ature  never  intended  it 
for  a  great  commercial  entrepot,  and  of  the 
leading  factories  of  the  East  India  Company  it 
represents  probably  the  most  signal  failure. 

In  the  early  half  of  the  eighteenth  century 
the  course  of  British  commerce  in  the  Straits 
ran  smoothly.  It  is  not  until  we  reach  the 
year  1752  that  we  find  any  event  of  importance 
in  the  record.  At  that  period  a  forward  policy 
was  initiated,  and  two  new  settlements  were 
established  on  the  Smnatra  coast.  To  one  the 
designation  of  Natal  was  given  ;  the  other  was 
founded  at  Tappanuli.  Natal  in  its  time  was 
an  important  factory,  but  as  a  centre  of  British 
commerce  it  has  long  since  passed  into  the 
limbo  of  forgotten  things.  In  1760,  during  our 
war  with  France,  a  French  fleet  under  Comte 
d'Estaing  visited  the  Straits  and  destroyed  all 
the  East  India  Company's  settlements  on  the 
Sumatra  coast.  But  the  mischief  was  subse- 
quently repaired,  and  the  British  rights  to  the 
occupied  territory  were  formally  recognised  in 
the  Treaty  of  Paris  of  1763.  Up  to  this  period 
Bencoolen  had  been  subordinate  to  Madras,  an 
arrangement  which  greatly  militated  against  its 
successful  administration.  The  establishment 
was  now  formed  into  an  independent  presi- 
dency, and  provided  with  a  charter  for  the 
creation  of  a  mayor's  court.  The  outbreak  of 
the  war  with  Holland  brought  the  station  into 
special  prominence.  In.i7Si  an  expedition 
was  despatched  from  it  to  operate  against  the 
Dutch  estabUshments.  It  resulted  in  the  seizure 
of  Pedang  and  other  important  points  in 
Sumatra.  The  British  power  was  now  practi- 
cally supreme  on  the  Sumatran  coasts.     But  it 

(From  Alexander's  drawings  at  the  India  Office.) 

which  the  designation  Fort  Marlborough  was 
given,  was  an  improvement  on  the  original 
settlement,  and  it  attained  to  a  certain  position 

had  long  been  felt  that  an  extension  of  British 
influence  and  power  beyond  Sumatra  was 
desirable  in  the  interests  of  a  growing  com- 



merce  in  the  Straits  and  for  the  protection  of 
our  important  China  trade.  The  occupation  of 
Pinang  in  1786,  in  circumstances  which  will 
be  detailed  at  a  later  stage  of  our  narrative,  was 

its  possession  less  burdensome.     It  continued 
to  the  end  of  its  existence  a  serious  drag  on  the 
Company's  finances. 
The  year  1804  is  memorable  in  Straits  history 

(From  the  portrait  by  G.  F.  Joseph,  .A.R.A.,  in  the  Xiitional  Portrait  Gallery.) 

Street.  There  he  remained  until  the  occupa- 
tion of  Pinang  gave  him  the  opportunity,  for 
which  his  ardent  spirit  longed,  of  service 
abroad.  He  went  out  with  high  hopes  and 
an  invincible  determination  to  justify  the  con- 
fidence reposed  in  him.  His  spare  momenls 
on  the  voyage  were  occupied  in  learning  the 
Malay  language  and  studying  Malay  literature. 
Thus  he  was  able  to  land  with  more  than  a 
casual  equipment  for  the  work  he  had  to  do. 
At  Pinang  he  continued  his  linguistic  studies, 
with  such  good  effect  that  in  a  short  time  he 
was  an  acknowledged  authority  on  Malayan 
customs.  His  exceptional  ability  did  not  pass 
without  recognition.  Through  Dr.  Leyden, 
who  had  formed  Raffles's  acquaintance  in 
Pinang,  Lord  Minto,  then  Governor-General 
of  India,  heard  of  this  brilliant  young  official 
who  was  making  so  distinguished  a  reputation 
in  paths  not  usually  trodden  by  the  Company's 
junior  servants.  A  visit  to  Calcutta  in  1807  by 
Raffles  was  an  indirect  consequence  of  the 
introduction.  Lord  Minto  received  the  young 
man  kindly,  and  discussed  with  him  the  question 
of  the  extension  of  British  influence  in  the 
Malay  Archipelago.  Raffles  ended  by  so  im- 
pressing the  statesman  with  his  grasp  of  the 
situation  that  the  latter  conferred  upon  him 
the  position  of  Governor-General's  Agent  in 
the  Eastern  seas.  This  extraordinary  mark  of 
favour  was  completely  justified  when,  four 
years  later.  Lord  Minto  conducted  in  person  an 
expedition  for  the  conquest  of  Java.  The  expe- 
ditionary force  consisted  of  nearly  six  thousand 
British  and  as  many  Indian  troops.  Ninety 
ships  were  required  for  the  transport  of  the 
force,  which  was  at  the  time  the  largest  ever 
sent  to  those    seas    by  a    European    Power. 

the  result.  Nine  years  later  Malacca,  captured 
from  the  Dutch,  was  added  to  our  possessions. 
These  important  centres  gave  a  new  strength 
and  significance  to  our  position  in  the  Straits. 
But  no  change  was  made  in  the  administrative 
system  until  1802,  when  an  Act  of  Parliament 
was  passed  authorising  the  East  India  Com- 
pany to  make  their  settlement  at  Fort  Marl- 
borough a  factory  subordinate  to  the  presidency 
of  Fort  William  in  Bengal,  and  to  transfer  to 
Madras  the  servants  who,  on  the  reduction  of 
the  establishment,  should  be  supernumerary. 
The  change  was  prompted  by  economical  con- 
siderations. Bencoolen  had  always  been  a  very 
expensive  appanage  of  the  East  India  Company, 
and  the  progress  of  events  did  not  tend  to  make 

as  marking  the  advent  to  this  important  centre 
of  British  influence  of  one  who  has  carved  in 
indelible  letters  his  name  and  fame  upon  British 
colonial  history.  In  September  of  that  year 
there  landed  at  Pinang  Thomas  Stamford 
Raffles,  the  man  to  whom  more  than  to  any 
other  Britain  owes  her  present  proud  position 
in  the  Straits  of  Malacca.  Raffles  came  out 
with  no  other  advantages  than  his  natural 
endowments.  The  son  of  a  sea  captain  en- 
gaged in  the  West  India  trade,  he  was  born  on 
board  his  father's  ship  on  July  5,  1781.  His 
educational  training  was  of  the  briefest.  After 
a  few  years'  schooling  at  Hammersmith  he,  at 
the  early  age  of  fourteen,  entered  the  East  India 
Company's  service  as   a  clerk   in    Leadenhall 


(From  a  portrait  bv  James  Atkinson  in  the  National 
Portrait  Gallery.) 

Raffles  was  chosen  by  Lord  Minto  as  his  chief 
intelligence  officer.  He  discharged  his  part 
with  the  zeal  and  acumen  which  distinguished 
him.     But  it  was  a  time  for  all  of  great  anxiety. 



as  the  surveys  of  the  archipelago  at  that  period 
were  very  inadequate,  and  no  small  peril 
attended  the  navigation  of  so  considerable  a 
fleet  of  transports  as  that  which  carried  the 
expeditionary  force.  The  course  which  Raflles 
advised  for  the  passage  of  the  ships  was 
severely  criticised  by  naval  authorities.  But 
Lord  Minto  placed  confidence  in  his  intelligence 
officer's  knowledge  and  judgment,  and  elected 
to  take  his  advice.  The  result  was  the  trium- 
phant vindication  of  Rafdes.  The  fleet,  sailing 
from  Malacca  on  June  ii,  1811,  reached  Batavia 
early  in  August  without  a  serious  casualty  of 
any  kind  ;  and  the  army,  landing  on  the  4th  of 
that  month,  occupied  Batavia  on  the  gth,  and 
on  the  25th  inflicted  a  signal  defeat  on  the 
Dutch  forces  under  General  Janssens.  The 
battle  so  completely  broke  the  power  of  the 
Dutch  that  Lord  Minto  within  six  weeks  was 
'  able  to  re-embark  for  India.  Before  leaving 
he  marked  his  sense  of  Raffles's  services  by 
appointing  him  Lieutenant-Governor  of  the 
newly  conquered  territory.  Raflles's  admini- 
stration of  Java  brought  out  his  greatest 
qualities.  Within  a  remarkably  short  time  he 
had  evolved  order  out  of  chaos  and  placed  the 
dependency  on  the  high  road  to  affluent  pros- 
perity. When  at  the  end  of  years  the  time 
came  for  him  to  lay  down  the  reins  of  office,  he 
left  the  island  with  an  overflowing  treasury  and 
a  trade  flourishing  beyond  precedent.  Return- 
ing to  England  in  18  l6  with  health  somewhat 
impaired  by  his  arduous  work  in  the  tropics, 
Raffles  hoped  for  a  tangible  recognition  of  his 
brilliant  services.  But  his  success  had  excited 
jealousy,  and  there  were  not  wanting  detractors 
who  called  in  question  certain  aspects  of  his 
administration.  It  is  unnecessary  for  present 
purposes  to  go  into  those  forgotten  con- 
troversies. Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  attacks 
were  so  far  successful  that  no  better  position 
could  be  found  for  Raffles  than  the  Lieutenant- 
Governorship  of  Bencoolen,  a  centre  whose 
obscurity  had  become  more  marked  since  the 
occupation  of  Pinang. 

Raffles  assumed  the  office  which  had  been 
entrusted  to  him  with  the  cheerful  zeal  which 
was  characteristic  of  the  man.  But  even  his 
sanguine  temperament  was  not  proof  against 
the  gloomy  influences  which  pervaded  the 
place.  An  earthquake  which  had  occurred 
just  before  he  landed  had  done  great  damage 
to  the  station,  and  this  disaster  had  accentuated 
he  forlornness  of  the  outlook.  Raffles  drew  a 
vivid  picture  of  the  scene  which  confronted  him 
in  a  letter  written  on  April  7,  1818,  a  few  days 
after  landing.  "  This,"  he  wrote,  •'  is  without 
exception  the  most  wretched  place  I  ever 
beheld  .  .  .  the  roads  are  impassable,  the 
highways  in  the  town  overrun  with  rank 
grass,  the  Government  house  a  den  of  ravenous 
dogs  and  polecats.  The  natives  say  that  Ben- 
coolen is  now  a  Taiii  mati  (dead  land).  In 
truth  I  could  never  have  conceived  anything 
half  so  bad.  We  will  try  and  make  it  better, 
and  if  I  am  well  supported  from  home  the 
West  Coast  may  yet  be  turned  to  account." 
The  moral  condition  of  the  place  was  in  keep- 
ing with  its  physical  aspect.  Public  gaming 
and    cock-fighting    were    not    only    practised 

under  the  eye  of  the  chief  authority,  but  pub- 
licly patronised  by  the  Government.  This  laxity 
had  its  natural  consequences  in  an  excess  of 
criminality.  Murders  were  daily  committed 
and  robberies  perpetrated  which  were  never 
traced  ;  profligacy  and  immorality  obtruded 
themselves  in  every  direction.' 

The  truth  is  that  Bencoolen  at  this  time  was 
decaying  of  its  own  rottenness.  Throughout 
its  existence  it  had  been  a  sink  of  corruption 
and  official  extravagance,  and  these  qualities 
had  honeycombed  it  to  a  point  almost  of  com- 
plete destruction.  A  story  familiar  in  the  Straits 
illustrates  aptly  the  traditions  of  the  station. 
At  one  period  there  was  a  serious  discrepancy 
— amounting  to  several  thousand  dollars — 
between  the  sum  to  the  credit  of  the  public 
account  and  the  specie  in  hand.  Naturally  the 
authorities  in  Leadenhall  Street  demanded  an 
explanation  of  this  unpleasant  circumstance. 
They  were  told  that  the  blame  was  due  to 
white  ants,  though  it  was  left  to  conjecture 
whether  the  termites  had  demolished  the 
money  or  simply  the  chest  which  contained  it. 
The  directors  made  no  direct  comment  upon 
this  statement,  but  a  little  later  despatched  to 
Bencoolen,  unasked,  a  consignment  of  files. 
At  a  loss  to  know  why  these  articles  had  been 
sent  out,  the  Bencoolen  officials  sought  au 
explanation.  Then  they  were  blandly  told  that 
they  were  to  be  used  against  the  teeth  of  the 
white  ants  should  the  insects  again  prove 
troublesome.  It  is  probable  that  this  was  a 
sort  of  Leadenhall  Street  Roland  for  a  Ben- 
coolen Oliver,  for  just  previous  to  this  incident 
the  home  authorities  had  made  themselves 
ridiculous  by  solemnly  enjoining  the  Bencoolen 
officials  to  encourage  the  cultivation  of  white 
pepper,  that  variety  being  most  valuable.  On 
that  occasion  it  had  been  brought  home  to 
the  dense  Leadenhall  Street  mind  that  black 
and  white  pepper  are  from  identical  plants,  the 
difference  of  colour  only  arising  from  the 
method  of  preparation,  the  latter  being  allowed 
to  ripen  on  the  vine,  while  the  former  is 
plucked  when  green.  Mistakes  of  the  character 
of  this  one,  it  appears,  were  not  uncommon  in 
the  relations  of  the  headquarters  with  Ben- 
coolen. An  almost  identical  incident  is  brought 
to  light  in  one  of  Raffles's  letters.  After  he  had 
been  some  time  at  Bencoolen  a  ship  was  sent 
out  to  him  with  definite  instructions  that  it 
should  be  loaded  exclusively  with  pepper. 
Owing  to  its  extreme  lightness,  pepper  alone 
is  an  almost  impossible  cargo,  and  it  was  the 
practice  to  ship  it  with  some  heavy  commodity. 
Acting  on  these  principles.  Raffles,  in  anticipa- 
tion of  the  vessel's  arrival,  had  accumulated  a 
quantity  of  sugar  for  shipment.  But  in  view  of 
the  peremptoriness  of  his  orders  he  withdrew 
it,  and  the  vessel  eventually  sailed  with  the 
small  consignment  of  pepper  which  was  pos- 
sible having  regard  to  the  safety  of  the  vessel. 

Bencoolen  from  the  beginning  to  the  end  of 
its  existence  as  an  English  trading  centre  was 
but  a  costly  white  elephant  to  the  East  India 
Company.  Raffles's  opinion  upon  it  was  that 
"  it  was  certainly  the  very  worst  selection  that 
could  have  been  made  for  a  settlement.     It  is 

I  "  Memoir  of  Sir  T.  Stamford  Raftles,"  p.  ^97. 

completely  shut  out  of  doors  ;  the  soil  is,  com- 
paratively with  the  other  Malay  countries,  in- 
ferior ;  the  population  scanty  ;  neighbourhood 
or  passing  trade  it  has  none  ;  and  further,  it 
wants  a  harbour,  to  say  nothing  of  its  long 
reputed  unhealthiness  and  the  undesirable  state 
of  ruin  into  which  it  has  been  allowed  to  run." ' 
Yet  at  this  period  the  administration  of  the 
settlement  involved  an  expenditure  of  ;f  100,000 
a  year,  and  the  only  return  for  it,  as  Raffles 
contemptuously  put  it,  was  "a  few  tons  of 
pepper."  In  the  view  of  the  energetic  young 
administrator  the  drawbacks  of  the  place  were 
accentuated  by  the  facility  with  which  the 
pepper  trade  was  carried  on  by  the  Americans 
without  any  settlement  of  any  kind.  In  a  letter 
to  Marsden,  with  whom  he  kept  up  an  active 
correspondence,  Raffles  wrote  under  date  April 
28,  1818  :  "There  have  been  no  less  than  nine- 
teen Americans  at  the  northern  ports  this  sea- 
son, and  they  have  taken  away  upwards  of 
60,000  pekuls  of  pepper  at  nine  dollars.  It  is 
quite  ridiculous  for  us  to  be  confined  to  this 
spot  in  order  to  secure  the  monopoly  of 
500  tons,  while  ten  times  that  amount  may  be 
secured  next  door  without  any  establishment 
at  all." 

The  wonder  is  that,  with  practically  no  ad- 
vantages to  recommend  it,  and  with  its  serious 
drawbacks,  Bencoolen  should  so  long  have 
remained  the  Company's  headquarters.  The 
only  reasonable  explanation  is  that  the  directors 
held  it  as  a- counterpoise  to  Ihe  Dutch  power  in 
these  waters.  Dutch  policy  aimed  at  an  abso- 
lute monopoly,  and  it  was  pursued  with  an 
arrogance  and  a  greed  which  made  it  impera- 
tive on  the  guardians  of  British  interests  in 
these  latitudes  that  it  should  be  resisted  with 
determination.  Resisted  it  was,  as  the  records 
show,  through  long  years,  but  it  cannot  truly 
be  said  that  in  dissipating  energies  and  sub- 
stance at  Bencoolen  the  Company  adopted  a 
sensible  course.  By  their  action,  indeed,  they 
postponed  for  an  unnecessarily  protracted 
period  the  seating  of  British  power  in  the 
Straits  in  a  position  adequate  to  the  great  trade 
and  the  commanding  political  interests  which 
Britain  even  at  that  period  had  in  the  East. 
But  no  doubt  the  consolidation  of  our  position 
in  India  absorbed  the  energies  and  the  resources 
of  the  Company  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
prevented  them  from  taking  that  wider  view 
which  was  essential.  That  the  authorities  in 
India  were  not  unmindful  of  the  importance  of 
extending  British  influence  in  the  Straits  is 
shown  by  the  readiness  with  which,  when  the 
value  of  the  position  had  been  brought  home 
to  them  by  Light,  they  took  the  necessary  steps 
to  occupy  Pinang  in  1786.  Still,  the  full  lesson 
of  statesmanship  had  yet  to  be  taught  them,  as 
is  indicated  by  the  fact  that  within  eight  years 
of  the  hoisting  of  the  British  flag  on  Prince  of 
Wales  Island,  as  it  was  officially  designated,  its 
abandonment  in  favour  of  a  station  on  the 
Andamans  was  seriously  proposed.  It  re- 
mained for  Raffles  to  teach  that  lesson.  How 
his  instruction  was  given  and  the  results  which 
flowed  from  it,  are  matters  which  must  be  dealt 
with  in  a  separate  section. 

'  Ibid.,  p.  463. 





The  Occupation  axd  the  Fight  against 
Dutch  Pretensions  and  Official 

THE  retrocession  of  Malacca  under  the 
terms  of  the  Treaty  of  Vienna  was 
almost  universally  felt  throughout  the  Straits 
to  be  a  great  blow  to  British  political  and  com- 
mercial influence.  Regarded  at  home  as  a 
mere  pawn  to  be  lightly  sacrificed  on  the 
diplomatic  chess-board,  the  settlement  through- 
out the  Eastern  seas  enjoyed  a  prestige  second 
to  that  of  hardly  any  other  port  east  of  Cal- 
cutta, and  its  loss  to  those  on  the  spot  appeared 
a  disaster  of  the  first  magnitude.  There  was 
substantial  reason  for  the  alarm  excited.  The 
situation  of  the  settlement  in  the  very  centre  of 
the  Straits  gave  its  owners  the  practical  com- 
mand of  the  great  highway  to  the  Far  East. 
It  was  the  historic  centre  of  power  to  which  all 
Malaya  had  long  been  accustomed  to  look  as 
the  seat  of  European  authority  ;  it  was  a  com- 
mercial emporium  which  for  centuries  had 
attracted  to  it  the  trade  of  these  seas.  But 
these  were  not  the  only  considerations  which 
tinged  the  minds  of  the  British  community 
in  the  Straits  with  apprehension  when  they 
thought  over  the  surrender  of  the  port,  with 
all  that  it  implied.  From  the  Dutch  settle- 
ments across  the  sea  were  wafted  with  every 

man,  the  Governor  of  Pinang,  to  number 
twelve  thousand  men,  including  a  considerable 
proportion  of  highly-trained  European  troops, 



(From  the  "  Memoir  of  Sir  T.  Stamford  Raffles.") 

had  been  concentrated  in  Netherlands  India. 
With  it  was  <i  powerful  naval  squadron,  well 
manned  and  equipped.  These  and  other  cir- 
cumstances which  were  brought  to  light  indi- 

(I'Yom  Von  de  Velde's  "  Gesigtenuit  Neerlands  Indie.") 

ship  rumours  of  preparations  which  were  being 
made  for  the  new  regime  which  the  reoccupa- 
tion  of  Malacca  was  to  usher  in.  An  imposing 
military  force,  estimated  by  Colonel  Banner- 

cated  that  the  reoccupation  of  Malacca  was  to 
be  the  signal  for  a  fresh  effort  on  the  part  of 
Ihe  Dutch  to  secure  that  end  for  which  they 
had   been    struggling   for   two  centuries— the 

absolute  domination  of  the  Straits  of  Malacca 
and  of  the  countries  bordering  upon  that  great 

One  of  the  first  public  notes  of  alarm  at  the 
ominous  activity  of  the  Dutch  was  sounded  by 
the  commercial  men  of  Pinang.  On  June  8, 
1818,  the  merchants  of  that  place  sent  a  me- 
morial to  Government  inviting  the  attention  of 
the  Governor  to  the  very  considerable  inter- 
course now  carried  on  by  British  subjects  in 
India  "  with  the  countries  of  Perak,  Salangore, 
and  Riho  in  the  Straits  of  Malacca,  and  the 
island  of  Singha,  and  Pontiana  and  other  ports 
on  the  island  of  Borneo,"  and  suggesting— in 
view  of  the  transfer  of  Malacca  and  the  pro- 
bable re-adoption  by  the  Dutch  of  their  old 
exclusive  policy,  by  which  they  would  "  endea- 
vour to  make  such  arrangements  with,  and  to 
obtain  such  privileges  from,  the  kings  or  chiefs 
of  those  countries  as  might  preclude  British 
subjects  from  the  enjoyment  of  the  present 
advantageous  commerce  they  now  carry  on  " 
— the  expediency  of  the  British  Government 
"  endeavouring  to  make  such  amicable  commer- 
cial treaties  and  alliances  with  the  kings  and 
chiefs  of  these  places  as  may  effectually  secure 
to  British  subjects  the  freedom  of  commerce 
with  those  countries,  if  not  on  more  favourable 
terms,  which,  from  the  almost  exclusive  trade 
British  subjects  have  carried  on  with  them  for 
these  twenty  years  past,  we  should  suppose 
they   might  even  be  disposed  to  concede."' 

There  is  no  evidence  that  any  formal  reply 
was  ever  made  to  this  representation,  but.  that 
it  was  not  without  fruit  is  shown  by  the  subse- 
quent action  of  the  Government.  They  penned 
an  earnest  despatch  to  the  Supreme  Govern- 
ment, deploring  the  cession  of  the  port  and 
pointing  out  the  serious  effect  the  action  taken 
was  likely  to  have  on  British  trade  and  prestige. 
Meanwhile  Mr.  Cracroft,  Malay  translator  to 
the  Government,  was  sent  on  a  mission  to 
Perak  and  Selangor,  with  instructions  to  con- 
clude treaties  if  possible  with  the  chiefs  of 
those  States.  At  the  same  tiine  a  despatch  was 
forwarded  to  Major  Farquhar,  the  British  Resi- 
dent at  Malacca,  directing  him  to  conduct  a 
similar  mission  to  Riau,  Lingen,  Pontiana,  and 
Slack.  Mr.  Cracroft,  after  a  comparatively 
brief  absence,  returned  with  treaties  executed 
by  both  the  chiefs  to  whom  he  was  accredited. 
Major  Farquhar's  mission  proved  a  far  more 
difficult  one.  Embarking  at  Malacca  on  July 
19th,  he  made  Pontiana  his  first  objective,  as  he 
had  heard  of  the  despatch  of  a  Dutch  expedition 
from  Batavia  to  the  same  place,  and  was 
anxious  to  anticipate  it  if  possible.  He,  how- 
ever, brought  up  off  Riau  for  the  purpose  of 
delivering  letters,  announcing  his  mission,  to 
the  Raja  Muda,  the  ruling  authority  of  the 
place,  and  to  the  Sultan  of  Lingen,  who  conld 
be  reached  from  that  quarter.  After  a  tedious 
passage  he  arrived  at  Pontiana  on  August  3rd, 
but,  to  his  mortification,  found  that  the  Dutch 
had  anticipated  him  and  had  occupied  the 
place.     Dissembling   his  feelings  as   best  he 

»  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  66 



could,  he  after  a  brief  interval  weighed  anchor 
and  directed  his  course  to  Lingen.  Here  he 
was  told  that  the  political  authority  was  vested 
in  the  Raja  Muda  of  Riau,  to  whom  applica- 
tion for  the  treaty  must  be  made.  Acting  on 
the  suggestion,  Farquhar  went  to  Riau,  and 
concluded  what  he  then  regarded  as  a  very 
satisfactory  arrangement.  Subsequently  he 
visited  Bukit  Bahoo  in  Slack,  and  concluded 
a  like  treaty  there  on  August  31st.  Returning 
to  Malacca,  Farquhar  forwarded  the  treaties  to 
Pinang  with  a  covering  despatch  of  much  inte- 
rest in  the  light  of  subsequent  events.  In  this 
communication  the  writer  expressed  his  desire 
to  put  before  the  Governor  of  Pinang  some 
considerations  relative  to  the  situation  created 
by  the  retrocession  to  the  Dutch  of  Malacca, 
"  the  Key  of  the  Straits  " — an  event  which,  in 
his  view,  could  not  be  too  much  deplored. 
The  provident  measures  adopted  of  concluding 
alliances  with  native  States  would,  he  said, 
prove  of  much  ultimate  benefit  in  preserving 
an  open  and  free  trade.  But  however  strong 
might  be  the  attachment  of  the  native  chiefs  to 
the  British,  and  however  much  they  might 
desire  to  preserve  the  terms  of  the  treaties 
inviolate,  it  would  be  quite  impossible  for  them 
to  do  so  unless  strenuously  supported  and  pro- 
tected by  our  influence  and  authority.  In  the 
circumstances  it  seemed  to  him  that  "  the  most 
feasible,  and  indeed  almost  only,  method  to 
counteract  the  evils  which  at  present  threaten 
to  annihilate  all  free  trade  to  the  Eastern 
Archipelago  would  be  by  the  formation  of  a 
new  settlement  to  the  eastward  of  Malacca." 
"  From  the  observations  I  have  been  able  to 
make  on  my  late  voyage,  as  well  as  from 
former  experience,  there  is,"  Farquhar  con- 
tinued, "  no  place  which  holds  ■  out  so  many 
advantages  in  every  way  as  do  the  Kariman 
Islands,  which  are  so  situate  as  to  be  a  com- 
plete key  to  the  Straits  of  Sincapore,  Dryon, 
and  Soban,  an  advantage  which  no  other  place 
in  the  Straits  of  Malacca  possesses,  as  all  trade, 
whether  coming  from  the  eastward  or  west- 
ward, must  necessarily  pass  through  one  or 
other  of  the  above  straits.  A  British  settle- 
ment, therefore,  on  the  Karimans,  however 
small  at  first,  would,  I  am  convinced,  very  soon 
become  a  port  of  great  consequence,  and  not 
only  defray  its  own  expenses,  but  yield  in  time 
an  overplus  revenue  to  Government."  The 
~  Karimuns,  Farquhar  went  on  to  say,  were  un- 
inhabited, but  as  they  were  attached  to  the 
dominions  of  the  Sultan  of  Johore,  he  suggested 
that  means  should  be  adopted  of  obtaining  a 
regular  transfer  of  the  islands  from  that 

In  forwarding  Farquhar's  despatches  to  the 
Governor-General,  Colonel  Bannerman  drew 
attention  in  serious  terms  to  the  menace  of  the 
Dutch  policy  in  regard  to  native  States.  He 
pointed  out  that  they  had  twelve  thousand 
troops  in  their  possessions,  and  that  the  pre- 
sence of  this  force  between  India  and  China 
involved  a  distinct  danger  to  British  interests. 
He  did  not,  however,  support  Farquhar's  sug- 
gestion in  regard  to  the  Karimun  Islands,  on 
the  ground  that  "  the  expense  of  maintaining  a 
settlement  on  an  uninhabited  island  would  be 
enormous,"  and  that  "the  insulated  situation  of 
Kariman  and  its  remoteness  from  all  support 
would  require  a  considerable  military  force  to 

guard  it  against  the  large  fleets  of  piratical 
prows  infesting  that  part  of  the  Straits,  as  well 
as  against  the  nations  of  the  adjoining  coun- 

Finally  he  stated  that  the  subject  was  under 
the  consideration  of  the  Government  of 

In  a  later  despatch,  dated  the  7th  of  Novem- 

(From  a  sketch  in  the  India  Office.) 

Before  he  had  received  any  intimation  as  to 
the  views  held  by  Colonel  Bannerman,  Far- 
quhar, deeming  that  the  matter  was  one  of 
urgency,  took  upon  himself  the  responsibility 
of  writing  to  the  Raja  Muda  of  Riau,  asking 
him  if  he  were  willing  to  forward  the  transfer 
of  the  Karimun  Islands  to  the  British.  The 
Raja  replied  cautiously  that,  though  he  had  no 
objection  to  the  British  examining  the  islands, 
he  did  not  deem  himself  in  a  position  to  come 
to  any  definitive  arrangement.  In  transmitting 
this  information  to  Colonel  Bannerman,  Far- 
quhar reasserted  the  desirability  of  acquiring 
the  Karimuns,  and  stated  that  he  thought  a 
small  force — "  two  companies  of  native  in- 
fantry, with  a  proportion  of  artillery  assisted 
by  a  few  hundred  convicts  " — would  be  suffi- 
cient to  garrison  it. 

While  the  arrangements  for  the  transfer  of 
Malacca  were  in  progress  a  claim  was  raised 
by  the  Dutch  to  the  suzerainty  of  Riau  and 
Perak  on  the  ground  that  they  were  depen- 
dencies of  Malacca,  and  reverted  to  them  with 
that  settlement,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  imm.e- 
diately  after  the  capture  of  Malacca  in  1795 
the  Sultan  of  Riau  was  restored  to  the  full 
enjoyment  of  his  sovereign  rights  by  the 

Farquhar,  writing  from  Malacca  to  Banner- 
man  on  the  22nd  of  October,  stated  that  he  had 
been  questioned  by  the  Dutch  Commissioners 
as  to  the  intentions  of  his  Government  in  regard 
to  the  formation  of  a  settlement  to  the  eastward 
of  Malacca,  and  had  informed  them  officially 
that  friendly  communications  had  already  been 
made  with  the  constituted  authorities  of  Lingen 
and  Riau,  and  their  permission  obtained  for 
examining  and  surveying  the  Karimun  and 
neighbouring  islands,  and  also  a  general  con- 
currence in  the    views    of   his    Government. 

ber,  Farquhar  enclosed  a  communication  from 
the  Dutch  Commissioners  raising  definitely 
the  question  of  the  vassalage  of  the  States 
of  Lingen,  Riau,  &c.,  arising  out  of  old 
treaties  said  to  have  been  formed  with  those 
States  thirty  or  forty  years  previously.  In  the 
letter  from  the  Dutch  was  intimated  in  the 
most  explicit  terms  a  firm  determination  on 
the  part  of  their  Government  not  to  permit 
the  Raja  of  Johore,  Pahang,  &c.,  to  cede  to 
the  British  the  smallest  portion  of  his  heredi- 
tary possessions. 

In  a  despatch  dated  November  21,  1818, 
Bannerman  forwarded  Farquhar's  letter  and 
the  Dutch  Commissioners'  communication  to 
the  Governor-General  with  the  remark,  "  No 
sanction  or  authority  has  been  given  to  Major 
Farquhar  to  negotiate  for  the  Kariman  Islands, 
or  even  to  discuss  the  question  with  the  Dutch 
authorities."  "My  letters  to'  the  Governor- 
General,"  Bannerman  added,  "  exemplify  to 
his  Excellency  in  Council  rather  the  prevalence 
of  an  opinion  adverse  to  their  occupation  than 
any  sanction  to  the  discussion  of  the  question 
itself."  The  communication  proceeded  :  "  It 
appears  to  the  Governor  in  Council  that  the 
late  discussions  have  had  a  tendency  to  stamp 
the  Kariman  Islands  with  a  degree  of  impor- 
tance which  their  value  cannot  sanction  ;  but  at 
the  same  time  they  have  led  to  a  more  complete 
development  of  the  views  of  general  aggran- 
disement with  which  the  Netherlands  Govern- 
ment are  actuated,  and  it  may  be  feared  that 
the  pretensions  of  that  Power  to  the  undivided 
sovereignty  in  the  Eastern  seas,  or  the  tenacity 
with  which  they  are  prepared  to  support  their 
claims,  will  be  productive  of  considerable  dis- 
advantage to  British  interests  unless  counter- 
acted by  timely  arrangements." 

Such  was  the  position  of  events  at  the  end  of 


November  as  far  as  Pinang  was  concerned. 
But  in  the  interval  between  the  first  raising  of 
the  question  and  the  transmission  of  Colonel 
Bannerraan's  warning  despatch  to  the  Gover- 
nor-General there  had  been  important  develop- 
ments in  another  quarter. 

In  the  early  days  of  his  exile  at  Bencoolen, 
brooding  over  the  situation  in  which  the  Treaty 
of  Vienna  had  placed  British  power  in  the 
Straits,  Raffles  was  quick  to  see  that  the  time 
had  come  for  a  new  departure  in  policy  if 
British  power  was  to  hold  its  own  in  this  part 
of  the  globe.  His  earliest  correspondence  from 
the  settlement  indicates  his  anxiety  on  the 
point.  In  a  letter  dated  April  14,  1818,  and 
despatched  a  week  or  two  after  his  arrival,  he 
wrote  :  "  The  Dutch  possess  the  only  passes 
through  which  ships  must  sail  into  this  archi- 
pelago, the  Straits  of  Sinida  and  of  Malacca  ; 
and  the  British  have  not  now  an  inch  of 
ground  to  stand  upon  between  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope  and  China,  nor  a  single  friendly 
port  at  which  they  can  water  or  obtain  refresh- 
ments. It  is  indispensable  that  some  regular 
and  accredited  authority  on  the  part  of  the 
British  Government  should  exist  in.  the  archi- 
pelago, to  declare  and  maintain  the  British 
rights,  whatever  they  are,  to  receive  appeals, 
and  to  exercise  such  wholesome  control  as 
may  be  conducive  to  the  preservation  of  the 
British  honour  and  character.  At  present  the 
authority  of  the  Government  of  Prince  of  Wales 
Island  extends  no  further  than  Malacca,  and 
the  Dutch  would  willingly  confine  that  of 
Bencoolen  to  the  almost  inaccessible  and 
rocky  shores  of  the  West  Coast  of  Sumatra. 
To  effect  the  objects  contemplated  some  con- 
venient station  within  the  archipelago  is  neces- 
sary ;  both  Bencoolen  and  Prince  of  Wales 
Island  are  too  far  removed,  and  unless  we 
succeed  in  obtaining  a  position  in  the  Straits 
of  Sunda,  we  have  no  alternative  but  to  fix  it  in 
the  most  advantageous  position  we  can  find 
within  the  archipelago  ;  this  would  be  some- 
where in  the  neighbourhood  of  Bintang."  ■ 

Bintang,  or  Bentan  as  it  is  now  called,  is  an 
island  in  the  Riau  Strait,  about  30  miles  from 
Singapore  at  the  nearest  point.  The  reference 
shows  that  Raffles  had  a  clear  conception  of 
the  importance  of  a  good  strategic  as  well  as  a 
favourable  trading  position,  and  knew  exactly 
where  this  was  to  be  found.  There  is  reason 
to  think  that  he  actually  had  Singapore  in  his 
mind  even  at  this  early  period.  His  corre- 
spondence suggests  that  his  thoughts  had  long 
been  cast  in  that  direction,  and  other  circum- 
stances make  it  inherently  probable  that  a 
definite  scheme  for  establishing  a  British 
settlement  there  was  actually  formed  by  him 
before  he  left  England.  The  point  is  not  very 
material.  Even  assuming  that  Raffles  had  not 
the  undivided  honour  of  discovering,  or,  more 
properly,  rediscovering,  Singapore,  it  was 
beyond  all  reasonable  question  he  who  gave 
the  proposal  for  the  occupation  of  the  point 
living  force,  and  ensured  its  success  by  a 
series  of  well-planned  and  cleverly  executed 
measures,  followed  by  the  initiation  of  an 
administrative  policy  marked  by  statesmanlike 

Once  having  got  into  his  mind  the  idea  of 
the  necessity  of  counteracting  Dutch  influence 
'  "  Memoir  of  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles,"  p.  307. 

by  the  establishment  of  a  new  settlement. 
Rallies,  with  characteristic  energy,  proceeded 
to  enlist  the  support  of  the  authorities.  Within 
a  few  months  of  his  landing  at  Bencoolen  he 
was  on  his  wa\'  to  India  to  lay  his  plans  before 
the  Supreme.Government.  At  Calcutta  he  had 
several  conferences  with  the  Marquess  of 
Hastings,  the  then  Governor-General,  and 
put  before  him  the  case  for  the  adoption  of  a 
forward  policy.  He  advocated,  his  biographer 
says,  no  ambitious  scheme.  "  In  his  own 
words,  he  neither  wanted  people  nor  territory  ; 
all  he  asked  was  permission  to  anchor  a  line-of- 
battle  ship  and  hoist  the  English  flag  at  the 
mouth  either  of  the  Straits  of  .Malacca  or  of 
Sunda,  by  which  means  the  trade  of  England 
would  be  secured  and  the  monopoly  of  the 
Dutch  broken."  '  As  a  result  of  the  discussions 
it  was  decided  to  concede  to  the  Dutch  their 
pretensions  in  Sumatra,  to  leave  to  them   the 



(From  an  engraving  by  Clent  in  the  British  Museum.) 

exclusive  command  of  the  Straits  of  Sunda, 
and  "  to  limit  interference  to  measures  of 
precaution  by  securing  a  free  trade  with  the 
archipelago  and  China  through  the  Straits  of 
Malacca."  In  order  to  effect  this  and  at  the 
same  time  to  protect  the  political  and  com- 
mercial interests  in  the  Eastern  seas  gene- 
rally, it  was  deemed  essential  that  some  central 
station  should  be  occupied  to  the  southward  of 
Malacca.  Finally,  it  was  agreed  that  Raffles 
should  be  the  agent  of  the  Governor-General  to 
carry  out  the  policy  decided  upon,  and  Major 
Farquhar  was  directed  by  the  Calcutta  Govern- 
ment to  postpone  his  departure  and  join  Raffles 
in  his  mission.  Raffles,  wriling  to  Marsden 
under  date  Xovember  14,  1818,  himself  sums 
up  the  results  of  his  mission  in  this  way  :  "  I 
have  now  to  inform  you  that  it  is  determined 
to  keep  the  command  of  the  Straits  of  Malacca 
by  establishments  at  .-\chin  and  Rhio,  and  that 
I  leave  Calcutta  in  a  fortnight  as  the  agent  to 
effect  this  important  object.  Achin  I  conceive 
'  Ibid.,  p.  370. 

to  be  completely  within  our  power,  but  the  j 
Dutch  may  be  beforehand  with  us  at  Rhio. 
They  took  possession  of  Pontiano  and  Malacca  5' 
in  July  and  August  last,  and  have  been  bad 
politicians  if  they  have  so  long  left  Rhio  open 
to  us."  In  a  letter  penned  twelve  days  later  to 
the  Duchess  of  Somerset,  Raffles  says  :  "  I  have 
at  last  succeeded  in  making  the  authorities  in 
Bengal  sensible  of  their  supineness  in  allowing  * 
the  Dutch  to  exclude  us  from  the  Eastern  seas,  «' 
but  I  fear  it  is  now  too  late  to  retrieve  what  we 
have  lost.  I  have  full  powers  to  do  all  that  we 
can  ;  and  if  anything  is  to  be  done  I  think  I 
need  not  assure  your  grace  that  it  shall  be  done 
and  quickly  done."  It  seems  probable  that  in 
the  interval  between  these  two  letters  informa- 
tion had  reached  Calcutta  of  the  Dutch  occupa-  •« 
tion  of  Rhio  (Riau).  Whether  so  or  not.  Raffles,  ,.i- 
it  is  clear  from  a  later  letter  addressed  to  Marsr 
den  froin  "  off  the  Sandheads  "  on  December 
12,  1818,  had  by  the  time  he  started  on  his 
homewaid  voyage  turned  his  thoughts  from 
Riau  in  the  direction  of  Singapore.  "  We  are 
now,"  he  writes,  "  on  our  way  to  the  eastward 
in  the  hope  of  doing  something,  but  I  much 
fear  that  the  Dutch  have  hardly  left  us  an  inch 
of  ground  to  stand  upon.  My  attention  is  prin- 
cipally turned  to  Johore,  and  you  must  not  be 
surprised  if  my  next  letter  to  you  is  dated  from 
the  site  of  the  ancient  city  of  Singapura."  This 
letter  is  important  as  an  indication  that  Raffles's 
designs  were  tending  towards  Singapore  before 
he  left  Calcutta  and  had  had  an  opportunity  of 
consulting  Major  Farquhar. 

On  arrival  at  Pinang,  Raffles  found  a  very 
discouraging  situation.     He  was  met  with  the 
probably  not  unexpected  news  that  the  Dutch 
had  compelled  the  Rajas  of  Riau  and  Lingen  . 
to  admit  their  troops  into  the  former  settlement 
and  to  permit  their  colours  to  fly  at  Lingen, 
Pahang,    and    Johore  ;    while    an    additional 
example  of  their  aggressiveness  was  supplied 
by  the  arrest  of  the  Sultan  of  Palembang  and 
the  occupation  of  his  capital  wiih  a  thousand 
troops,  five  hundred  of  whom  were  Europeans 
in  a  high  state  of  discipline.     In.  transmitting 
information   of    these  acts  to  the    Governor- 
General,  Colonel    Bannerman  had  penned  a 
despatch  in  terms  which  were  no  doubt  com- 
municated  to    Sir   Stamford    Raflles.     In   this 
document  the   Governor  of   Pinang  observed 
that  he  thought  that  the  Dutch  action  "must 
prove  to  the    Supreme    Government  the  full 
nature  of  those  encroachments  and  monopolies 
to  which  these  acts  wiU  naturally  tend.    The 
Governor  in  Council  was  satisfied  that  nothing 
less  than  the  uncontrolled  and  absolute  posses- 
sion of   the   Eastern  trade  would  satisfy  the 
rapacious  policy  of  the  Dutch   Government." 
The  despatch   went  on  to  point  out  that  the 
Dutch  had  now  complete  control  of  every  port   ■ 
eastward   of  Pinang,   and  had  besides  every 
means,  in  a  very  superior  military  and  naval 
armament,  to   frustrate    any    attempt    of    the 
British    Government    "  to    negotiate     even   a 
common  commercial  alliance  with  any  one  of 
the  Stales  in  the  Eastern  seas."     Finally  the 
despatch   despairingly   remarked,   "  To   effect 
therefore  among  them   any  political  arrange:       . 
ments  as  a  counterpoise  to  the  influence  of  that 
nation,  it  is  needless  to  disguise,  is  now  beyond 
the  power  of  the  British  Government  in  India." 
These  concluding  words  supply  a  keynote  to 



the  attitude  of  Colonel  Bannermaii.     He  had 
clearly  been  overwhelmingly  impressed  with 
Dutch  activity  and  the  resolution  with  which 
they  pursued  their  aims,  and  thought  that  the 
position  was  beyond  retrieval.     He  was  not  a 
strong  official.     His  despatches  show  him  to 
have    been    an    opinionated     and    somewhat 
irascible    man,    intolerant    of    criticism,    and, 
though  genial  in  his  social  relations,  endowed 
with  more  than  a  common   share  of  official 
arrogance.     Mingled  with  these  qualities  was 
a  constitutional  timidity  which  prevented  him 
from  taking  any  course  which   involved  risk 
or  additional  responsibility.     He  was,  in  fine, 
the  very  worst  type  of  administrator  to  deal 
with  a  crisis  such  as  that  which  had  arisen  in 
the   Straits.     In  receiving    Raffles    and    com- 
municating   his    views     on    the    complicated 
situation  that  had  developed,  he  seems  to  have 
given   full   rein   to    his    pessimism.     He  was, 
indeed,  so  entirely  convinced  that  the  position 
was  irretrievable  that  he  had  apparently  made 
up  his    mind    to   thwart   Raffles's   mission  by 
every   means  in  his  power.     It    is    doing    no 
injustice   to   him   to   say   that    wedded    to    a 
sincere  belief  in  the  futility  of  further  action 
was  a  feeling  of  soreness  that  this  important 
undertaking  had  been  launched  without  refer- 
ence to  him  and  placed  under  the  charge  of  an 
official  who  held  a  less  exalted  position  than 
himself.      In   the    recorded    correspondence" 
between  himself  and  Raffles  we  find  him  at 
the  very  ovitset  taking  up  a  position  of  almost 
violent  hostility  and  obstructiveness.     The  con- 
troversy was  'opened  by  a  letter  addressed  by 
Bannerman  to    Raffles    immediately   after  the 
latter's   arrival,  detailing    the    acts    of   Dutch 
aggressiveness  and  affirming  the  undesirability 
of    further    prosecuting    the    mission    in    the 
circumstances.      To     this     Rafiles    replied    on 
January   i,    1819,   saying    that    although   Riau 
was    preoccupied,    "  the   island   of   Sincapore 
and  the  districts  of  Old  Johore  and  the  Straits 
of  Indiigeeree  on  Sumatra  offer  eligible  points 
for  establishing  the  required  settlement,"  and 
declaring  his  inclination  to  the  policy  of  pro- 
ceeding   at    once    to     the    eastward    with    a 
respectable  and  efficient   force.     Bannerman, 
in  answer  to  this  communication,  wrote  on  the 
3rd  of  January  protesting  against  Raffles's  pro- 
posed action  and  refusing  to  grant  the  demand 
which  apparently  had  been  made  for  a  force 
of  500  men  to  assist  him  in  carrying  out  his 
designs.    In  taking  up  this  strong  line  Banner- 
man  does  not  appear  to  have  carried  his  entire 
Council  with  him.    One  member — Mr.  Erskine 
— expressed  his  dissent  and  drew  upon  himself 
in  consequence  the  wrath  of  his  chief,  who  in 
a  fiery  minute  taunted  him  with  vacillation  on 
the  ground  that  he  had  at  the  outset  been  in 
agreement  with   his  colleagues  as  to  the  in- 
advisability  of  the  prosecution  of  the  mission. 
Raffles  was  not  the  man  to  be  readily  thwarted, 
and    we    find    him   on    the    4th    of    January 
directing  a  pointed  inquiry  to  Bannerman  as 
to  whether  he  positively  declined  to  aid  him. 
Thus  brought  to  bay,  the  Governor   found  it 
expedient  to  temporise.     He  wrote  saying  thai 
he  was  willing  to  give  military  aid,  but  that  he 
did  so  only  on  Raffles's  statement  that  he  had 
authority   from    the    Governor-General    apart 
from   the    written   instructions,    Ihe    terms    of 
'  "Straits  Settlements  Records,"  No.  182A. 

which  were  relied  upon  by  Bannerman  as 
justifying  the  attitude  he  had  assumed.  The 
bitter,  unreasonable  spirit  which  Raffles  en- 
countered produced  upon  him  a  natural  feeling 
of  depression.  "  God  only  knows,"  he  wrote 
to  Marsden  on  January  16,  1819,  "where  next 
you  may  hear  from  me,  but  as  you  will  be 
happy  to  learn  of  the  progress  of  my  mission, 
I  will  not  lose  the  present  opportunity  of  in- 
forming you  how  1  go  on.     Whether  anything 

to  his  destination,  but  that  he  had  a  definite 
idea  in  his  mind  appears  from  a  letter  he  wrote 
the  same  day  to  Mi-.  Adam,  the  Secretary  to  the 
Supreme  Government.  In  this  he  said:  "The 
island  of  Sincapore,  independently  of  the 
straits  and  harbour  of  Johore,  which  it  both 
forms  and  commands,  has,  on  its  southern 
shores,  and  by  means  of  the  several  small 
islands  which  lie  off  it,  excellent  anchorage 
and  smaller  harbours,   and    seems    in    every 

(From  an  original  drawing  in  the  possession  of  tlie  Rev.  J.  H.  Bannsrman,  Vicar  of  St.  Stephen's,  Congleton,  Cheshire.) 

is  to  be  done  to  the  eastward  or  inot  is  yet  very 
uncertain.  By  neglecting  to  occupy  the  place 
we  lost  Rhio,  and  shall  have  difficulty  in 
establishing  ourselves  elsewhere,  but  I  shall 
certainly  attempt  it.  At  Achin  the  difficulties 
I  shall  have  to  surmount  in  the  performance 
of  my  duty  will  be  great  and  the  annoyance 
severe,  but  I  shall  persevere  steadily  in  what 
I  conceive  to  be  my  duty."  In  this  letter  to 
Marsden  ignorance  is  professed  by  Raffles  as 

respect  most  peculiarly  adapted  for  our  object. 
Its  position  in  the  Straits  of  Sincapore  is  far  more 
convenient  and  commanding  than  even  Rhio 
for  our  China  trade,  passing  down  the  Straits 
of  Malacca,  and  every  native  vessel  that  sails 
through  the  Straits  of  Rhio  must  pass  in  sight 
of  it."  Raffles  went  on  to  say  that  there  did 
not  appear  to  be  any  objection  "to  a  station  at 
Sincapore,  or  on  the  opposite  shore  towards 
Point  Romanea,  or  on  any  other  of  the  smaller 




(From  Captain  Bethune's  "Views  in  tlie  Eastern  Archipelago.") 

islands  which  he  off  this  part  of  the  coast. 
The  larger  harbour  of  Johore,"  he  added,  "is 
declared  by  professional  men  whom  I  have 
consulted,  and  by  every  Eastern  trader  of  ex- 
perience to  whom  I  have  been  able  to  refer, 
to  be  capacious  and  easily  defensible,  and  the 
British  flag  once  hoisted,  there  would  be  no 
want  of  supplies  to  meet  the  immediate  neces- 
sities of  our  establishment." 

Three  days  after  the  despatch  of  this  letter 
Raffles  sailed  on  his  eventful  mission.  Major 
Farquhar,  who  from  the  records  appears  to 
have  been  at  Pinang  at  the  time,  was  com- 
pletely won  over  to  his  views — "  seduced "  is 
the  phrase  which  Colonel  Bannerman  used 
later — and  accompanied  him.  It  says  much 
for  the  strained  character  of  the  relations 
which  existed  at  the  moment  between  Raffles 
and  the  Pinang  Government  that  in  quitting 
the  harbour  the  former  neglected  to  notify  his 
departure.  Slipping  their  anchors,  the  four 
vessels  of  his  little  fleet  left  at  night-time 
without  a  word  from  Raffles  to  the  Govern- 
ment. His  mission  being  a  secret  one  of  the 
highest  importance,  he  probably  felt  indisposed 
to  supply  more  information  about  his  move- 
ments than  was  absolutely  necessary  to  the 
hostile  officialdom  of  Pinang.  However  that 
may  be,  the  omission  to  give  notice  of  sailing 
appears  to  have  been  part  of  a  deliberate 
policy,  for  when  some  weeks  later  one  of 
Raffles's  vessels   had  again   to  leave  port,  its 

commander  departed  without  the  customary 
formality,  with  the  result  that  Colonel  Banner- 
man  penned  a  flaming  despatch  to  the 
Governor-General  invoking  vengeance  on  the 

The  mystery  in  which  Raffles's  intentions 
and  movements  were,  we  may  assume,  pur- 
posely enshrouded  at  this  period  has  resulted  in 
the  survival  of  a  considerable  amount  of  doubt 
as  to  the  actual  course  of  events.  It  has  even 
been  questioned  whether  he  was  actually 
present  at  Singapore  when  the  British  flag 
was  hoisted  for  the  first  time.  The  records, 
however,  are  absolutely  conclusive  on  this 
point.  Indeed,  there  is  so  much  direct  evi- 
dence on  this  as  well  as  on  other  aspects  of 
the  occupation  that  it  is  remarkable  there 
should  have  been  any  room  for  controversy 
as  to  the  leading  part  which  Raffles  played  in 
the  transaction. 

When  Raffles  sailed  from  Pinang,  it  is 
probable  that  he  had  no  fixed  design  in  regard 
to  any  place.  He  knew  generally  what  he 
wanted  and  he  was  determined  to  leave  no 
stone  unturned  to  accomplish  his  end.  But 
beyond  a  leaning  towards  Singapore  as  in  his 
view  the  best  centre,  he  had,  it  would  seem 
from  the  nature  of  his  movements,  an  open 
mind  on  the  question  of  the  exact  location  of 
the  new  settlement.  In  the  archives  at  the 
India  Office"  there  exists  a  memorandum, 
I  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  lo. 

drawn  up  by  Mr.  Benjamin  S.  Jones,  who  was 
at  the  time  senior  clerk  at  the  Board  of  Control, 
detailing  the  circumstances  which  led  up  to  the 
occupation  of  Singapore.  This  document  is 
dated  July  20,  1820,  and  it  was  probably  pre- 
pared with  a  view  to  the  discussion  then 
proceeding  with  the  Dutch  as  to  the  legality 
of  the  occupation.  As  a  statement  of  the 
official  views  held  at  the  time  in  regard  to 
Raffles's  action  it  is  of  peculiar  interest,  and  it 
may  be  examined  before  we  come  to  deal  with 
the  movements  of -the  mission.  At  the  outset 
there  is  given  this  explanation  of  the  causes 
which  led  to  its  despatch  : 

"  The  Governor-General  in  Council,  deeming 
it  expedient  to  secure  the  command  of  the 
Straits  of  Malacca  in  order  to  keep  open  a 
channel  for  British  commerce,  apparently 
endangered  by  the  schemes  of  exclusive  policy 
pursued  by  the  Nethedandish  Government, 
determined  to  despatch  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles  for 
the  purpose  of  improving  the  footing  obtained 
at  Rhio.  In  his  instructions  dated  December  5, 
1818,  it  was  observed  that  if  the  Dutch  had 
previously  occupied  Rhio  it  might  be  expedient 
to  endeavour  to  establish  a  connection  with  the 
Sultan  of  Johore,  but  as  so  little  was  known 
respecting  that  chief,  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles  was 
informed  that  it  would  be  incumbent  upon  us 
to  act  with  caution  and  circumspection  before 
we  entered  into  any  engagements  with  him. 
It  was  further  observed  that  there  was  some 



reason  to  think  that  the  Dutch  would  claim 
authority  over  the  State  of  Johore  by  virtue  of 
some  old  engagements,  and  though  it  was 
possible  that  the  pretension  might  be  success- 
fully combated,  it  would  not  be  consistent  with 
the  policy  and  views  of  the  Governor- General 
in  Council  to  raise  a  question  of  this  sort  with 
the  Netherlandish  authorities.  But  in  the 
event  of  his  procuring  satisfactory  information 
concerning  Johore,  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles  was  in- 
structed, on  the  supposition  of  Rhio  being 
preoccupied  by  the  Dutch,  to  open  a  negotia- 
tion with  the  chief  of  Johore  on  a  similar 
basis  to  that  contemplated  at  Rhio." 

Then  follows  a  relation  of  the  circumstances 
under  which  Singapore  was  selected  by  Raffles. 

"  In  order  to  avoid  collision  with  the  Dutch 
authorities.  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles  determined  to 
avoid  Rhio,  but  to  endeavour  to  establish  a 
footing  on  some  more  unoccupied  territory  in 
which  we  might  find  a  port  and  accommoda- 
tion for  our  troops,  and  where  the  British  flag 
might  be  displayed  pending  a  reference  to  the 
authorities  in  Europe.  With  this  view  he  pro- 
ceeded to  Singapore.  On  his  arrival  off  the 
town  a  deputation  came  on  board  with  the 
compliments  and  congratulations  of  the  chief 
native  authority  and  requested  to  know  the 
object  of  the  visit.  Having  inquired  whether 
there  was  any  Dutch  settlement  and  flag  at 
Singapore  and  at  Johore,  and  whether  the 
Dutch  had  by  any  means  attempted  to  exercise 
an  influence  or  authority  over  the  ports,  the 
deputation  replied  that  Johore  Lama,  or  Old 
Johore,  had  long  been  deserted  ;  that  the  chief 
authority  over  Singapore  and  all  the  adjacent 
islands  (excepting  those  of  Lingen  and  Rhio) 
then  resided  at  the  ancient  capital  of  Singapore, 
where  no  attempts  had  yet  been  made  to 
estabUsh  the  Dutch  power  and  where  no 
Dutch  flag  would  be  received." 

Such  were  the  bald  facts  of  the  occupation 
as  officially  related  about  eighteen  months  after 
the  hoisting  of  the  British  flag  in  the  ancient 
Malay  capital.  The  account  ma}'  be  supple- 
mented with  evidence  from  other  quarters. 
Nothing  is  said  in  Mr.  Jones's  memorandum 
about  visits  paid  by  the  mission  to  any  other 
spot  than  Singapore,  but  it  is  familiar  know- 
ledge that  before  proceeding  to  Singapore 
Raffles  put  in  at  the  Karimun  Islands  and  at 
Slack.  His  reasons  for  visiting  these  places 
may  be  conjectured  from  the  recital  given  of 
the  events  which  preceded  his  arrival  at 
Pinang.  Major  Farquhar,  as  we  have  seen, 
was  strongly  in  favour  of  the  establishment  of 
a  port  on  the  Karimun  Islands — so  strongly, 
indeed,  that  he  had  gone  beyond  his  official 
province  to  prepare  the  way  for  an  occupation, 
if  such  were  deemed  desirable  by  the  higher 
authorities.  What  would  be  more  natural  in 
the  circumstances  than  that  he  should  induce 
Raffles  at  the  very  earliest  moment  to  visit  the 
spot  which  had  struck  him  on  his  voyage  to 
Pontiana  as  being  so  peculiarly  adapted  to  the 
purposes  of  the  new  settlement?  Whatever 
the  underlying  motive,  we  have  interesting 
evidence  of  the  circumstance  that  the  Karimuns 
were  visited,  and  that  Raffles  found  there  ample 
and  speedy  proof  that  the  port  was  entirely 
unsuitable.  The  facts  are.  set  forth  in  a  report 
dated  March  i,  1819,  presented  to  the  Pinang 
Government    by   Captain    Ross,  of    the   East 

India  Company's  Marine.  This  ■  functionary, 
it  appears,  had  on  the  15th  of  January  pro- 
ceeded to  the  Karimun  Islands  to  carry  out 
a  survey  in  accordance  with  official  instruc- 
tions, prompted,  doubtless,  by  Major  Farquhar's 
advocacy  of  the  port.  His  report  was  entirely 
unfavourable  to  the  selection  of  the  islands. 
"The  Small  Kariman,"  he  wrote,  "rises 
abruptly  from  the  water  all  round,  and  does 
not  afford  any  situation  for  a  settlement  on  it. 
The  Great  Kariman  on  the  part  nearest  to  the 
small  one  is  also  very  steep,  and  from  thence 
to  the  southward  forms  a  deep  bay,  where  the 
land  is  principally  low  and  damp,  with  much 
mangrove  along  the  shore,  and  three  fathoms 
water  at  two  and  a  half  miles  off.  The 
channel  between  the  two  Karimans  has  deep 
water,  fourteen  and  fifteen  fathoms,  in  it,  but 
it  is  too  narrow  to  be  used  as  a  harbour."  Sir 
Stamford  Raffles  was  furnished  with  Captain 
Ross's  opinion  immediately  on  his  arrival,  and 
it  was  that  apparently  which  caused  him  to 
turn  his  attention  to  Singapore.  Recognising 
the  value  of  expert  marine  opinion,  he  took 
Captain  Ross  with  him  across  the  Straits.  The 
results  of  the  survey  which  that  officer  made 
were  embodied  in  a  report,  which  may  be  given 
as  an  interesting  historical  document  associated 
with  the  earliest  days  of  the, life  of  the  settle- 
ment.    Captain  Ross  wrote  : 

"Singapore  Harbour,  situate  four  miles  to 
.the  NNE.  of  St.  John's  Island  (in  what  is  com- 
monly called  SInapore  Strait),  will  afford  a  safe 
anchorage  to  ships  in .  all  seasons,  and  being 
clear  of  hidden  danger,  the  approach  to  it  is 
rendered  easy  by  day  or  night.  Its  position 
is  also  favourable  for  commanding  the  naviga- 
tion of  the  strait,  the  track  which  the  ships 
pursue  being  distant  about  five  miles  ;  and  it 
may  be  expected  from  its  proximity  to  the 
Malayan  islands  and  the  China  Sea  that  in  a 
short  time  numerous  vessels  would  resort  to 
it  for  commercial  purposes. 

"  At  the  anchorage  ships  are  sheltered  from 
ENE.  round  to  north  and  west  as  far  as  SSW. 
by  the  south  point  of  Johore,  Singapoora,  and 
many  smaller  islands  extending  to  St.  John's, 
and  thence  round  to  the  north  point  of  Batang 
(bearing  ESE.)  by  the  numerous  islands  form- 
ing the  southern  side  of  Singapoora  Strait. 
The  bottom,  to  within  a  few  yards  of  shore, 
is  soft  mud  and  holds  well. 

"  The  town  of  Singapoora,  on  the  island  of 
the  same  name,  stands  on  a  point  of  land  near 
the  western  part  of  a  bay,  and  is  easily  dis- 
tinguished by  there  being  just  behind  it  a 
pleasant-looking  hill  that  is  partly  cleared  of 
trees,  and  between  the  point  on  which  the 
town  is  situate  and  the  western  one  of  the  bay 
there  is  a  creek  in  which  the  native  vessels 
anchor  close  to  the  town,  so  it  may  be  found 
useful  to  European  vessels  of  easy  draft  to 
refill  in.  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  bay, 
opposite  to  the  town,  there  is  a  deep  inlet  lined 
by  mangroves,  which  would  also  be  a  good 
anchorage  for  native  boats;  and  about  north 
from  the  low  sandy  point  of  the  bay  there  is  a 
village  inhabited  by  fishermen,  and  a  short 
way  to  the  eastward  there  is  a  passage  through 
the  mangroves  leading  to  a  fresh  -  water 
river.  .  .  . 

"  The  coast  to  the  eastward  of  the  town  bay 
is  one  continued  sandy  beach,  and   half-mile 

to  the  eastward  of  the  eastern  point  of  the  bay, 
or  two  and  a  half  from  the  town,  there  is  a 
point  where  the  depth  of  water  is  six  or  seven 
fathoms  at  three  or  four  hundred  yards  from 
the  shore,  and  at  eight  hundred  yards  a  small 
bank  with  about  three  fathoms  at  low  water. 
The  point  offers  a  favoui-able  position  for 
batteries  to  defend  ships  that  may  in  time  of 
war  anchor  near  to  it. 

"The  tides  during  the  napesare  irregular  at 
two  or  three  miles  off  shore,  but  close  in  other- 
wise. The  rise  and  fall  will  be  about  10  and  12 
feet,  and  it  will  be  high  water  on  full  and 
change  at  eight  and  a  half  hours.  The  latitude 
of  the  town  is  about  1°  15J  North,  and  variation 
of  the  needle  observed  on  the  low  eastern 
point  of  the  bay  is  2"  9  East." ' 

Nothing  hardly  could  have  been  more 
satisfactory  than  this  opinion  by  a  capable 
naval  officer  upon  the  maritime  aspects  of 
Singapore.  With  it  in  his  possession  Raffles 
had  no  difficulty  in  coming  to  a  decision. 
His  experienced  eye  took  in  the  splendid 
possibilities  which  the  island  offered  for  the 
purposes  in  hand.  A  practically  uninhabited 
island  with  a  fine  roadstead,  it  could,  with  a 
minimum  of  difficulty  and  expense,  be  made 
into  a  commercial  centre,  while  its  command- 
ing position  in  the  narrowest  part  of  the  Straits 
of  Malacca  it  a  political  value  beyond 
estimate.  Impressed  with  these  features  of 
the  situation,  and  swayed  also,  we  may  reason- 
ably assume,  by  the  classical  traditions  of  the 
spot.  Raffles  on  January  29,  1819,='  ten  days 
after  quitting  Pinang,  hoisted  the  British  flag 
on  the  island.  The  natural  jubilation  he  felt 
at  the  accomplishment  of  his  mission  found 
vent  in  a  letter  to  Marsden  dated  three  days 
later.  In  this  he  wrote  :  "  Here  I  am  at 
Singapore,  true  to  my  word,  and  in  the  enjoy- 
ment of  all  the  pleasure  which  a  footing  on 
such  classic  ground  must  inspire.  The  lines 
of  the  old  city  and  of  its  defences  are  still  to  be 
traced,  and  within  its  ramparts  the  British 
Union  waves  unmolested."  In  the  midst  of 
his  self-gratulation  Raffles  was  not  unmindful 
of  the  dangers  which  still  hindered  his  plans 
from  the  jealousy  of  his  rivals  and  the  ignor- 
ance and  indifference  of  the  authorities  at 
home.  He  made  a  special  appeal  to  Marsden 
for  support  on  behalf  of  his  most  recent 
attempt  to  extend  British  influence.  "Most 
certainly,"  he  wrote,  "  the  Dutch  never  had  a 
factory  in  the  island  of  Singapore  ;  and  it  does 
not  appear  to  me  that  their  recent  arrange- 
ments with  a  subordinate  authority  at  Rhio  can 
or  ought  to  interfere  with  our  permanent  estab- 
lishment here.  I  have,  however,  a  violent 
opposition  to  surmount  on  the  part  of  the 
Pinang  Government." 

Raffles  no  doubt  had  in  his  mind  when  he 
penned  this  appeal  the  possible  effects  of 
Dutch  strenuousness  combined  with  Pinang 
hostility  on  the  weak  and  vacillating  mind  (as 
it  appeared  markedly  at  this  time)  of  the 
Indian  Government  and  the  India  Board. 
His  position,  however,  had  been  greatly 
strengthened  by  arrangements  which,  after 
landing  on  the  island,  he  had  found  it  possible 
to  make  with  the  Dato'  Temenggong  of  Johore, 
"  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  \'o.  70,  p.  432. 
=  In  Raffles's  "  Memoir,"  by  his  wife,  the  date  of 
the  hoisting  of  the  flag  is  given  as  the  29th  of 
Fetiruary,  but  this  is  an  obvious  blunder. 



a  high  State  official  with  great  ill-defined 
powers,  which  placed  him  in  a  position  almost 
of  equality  with  the  Sultan.  This  individual 
was  resident  on  the  island  at  the  time  of  the 
visit  of  the  mission,  and  he  sought  an  interview 
with  Raffles,  in  order  to  offer  the  British 
envoy  his  assistance  in  the  execution  of  his 
designs.  It  fs  probable  that  the  offer  was 
prompted  more  by  hatred  of  the  Dutch  than 
love  of  the  British.  But  Raffles  was  in  no 
mood  to  examine  too  closely  into  the  motives 
which  dictated  the  Temenggong's  action. 
Realising  the  value  of  his  support,  he  con- 
cluded with  him,  on  January  30th,  a  provisional 
understanding  for  the  regularising  of  the 
occupation  of  the  island.  The  Temenggong 
appears  to  have  represented  himself  as  the 
possessor  of  special  rights,  but  Raffles  deemed 
it  expedient  to  secure  the  confirmation  of  the 
grant  at  the  hands  of  the  Sultan.  It  happened 
that  at  this  time  the  ruling  chief  was  Sultan 
Abdul  Rahman,  a  man  who  was  supported  by 
the  Dutch  and  was  completely  under  their 
influence.  Xo  arrangement  was  possible  with 
him,  and  Raffles  must  have  known  as  much 
from  the  very  first.  But  his  fertile  intellect 
speedily  found  a  way  out  of  the  difficulty.  The 
British  envoy  gathered  from  the  Temenggong, 
and  possibly  was  aware  of  the  fact  previously, 
that  Abdul  Rahman  was  the  younger  of  two 
sons  of  the  previous  Sultan,  and  as  his  brother 
was  living  he  was  consequently  a  usurper. 
Without  loss  of  time  Raffles,  through  the 
Temenggong,  sent  to  Riau  for  the  elder 
brother,   Tunku   Husein,  and   on  the    latter's 

arrival  in  Singapore  duly  proclaimed  him 
Sultan  of  Johore.  Afterwards  a  formal  treaty, 
dated  February  6, 1819,  was  drawn  up  in  which 
the  new  Sultan  joined  with  the  Temenggong 
in  granting  the  British  the  right  to  settle  on 
the  island.  This  treaty  was  strengthened  by 
three  further  agreements,  one  dated  June  26, 
1 819,  another.  June,  1823,  and  the  thfrd, 
November  19,  1824.  But  before  the  final  treaty 
was  concluded,  and  Raffles's  dream  of  British 
domination  at  this  point  was  realised,  many  a 
battle  against  prejudice  and  stupidity  had  to 
be  fought. 

In  a  despatch  dated  February  13,  1819, 
reporting  to  the  Supreme  Government  the 
occupation  of  the  island.  Raffles  gave  a  mas- 
terly summary  of  its  features  and  advantages. 
"  Our  station  at  Singapore,"  he  wrote,  "  may  be 
considered  as  an  effectual  check  to  the  rapid 
march  of  the  Dutch  in  the  Eastern  Archi- 
pelago, and  vi^hether  we  may  have  the  power 
hereafter  of  extending  our  stations  or  be  com- 
pelled to  confine  ourselves  to  this  factory,  the 
spell  is  broken,  and  pne  independent  port  under 
our  flag  may  be  sufficient  to  prevent  the  recur- 
rence of  the  system  of  exclusive  monopoly 
which  the  Dutch  once  exercised  in  these  seas 
and  would  willingly  re-establish.  Situated  at 
the  extremity  of  th?  peninsula,  all  vessels  to 
and  from  China  vifi  Malacca  are  obliged  to 
pass  within  five  miles  of  our  headquarters,  and 
generally  pass  within  half  a  mile  of  St.  John's, 
a  dependent  islet  forming  the  western  point  of 
the  bay,  in  which  I  have  directed  a  small  post 
to  be  fixed,  and  from  whence  every  ship  can 

be  boarded  if  necessary,  the  water  being 
smooth  at  all  seasons.  The  run  between 
these  islands  and  the  Carimons,  which  are  in 
sight  from  it,  can  be  effected  in  a  few  hours, 
and  crosses  the  route  which  all  vessels  from 
the  Netherlands  must  necessarily  pursue  when 
bound  towards  Batavia  and  the  Eastern  islands. 

"  As  a  port  for  the  refreshment  and  refitment 
of  our  shipping,  and  particularly  for  that  por- 
tion of  it  engaged  in  the  China  trade,  it  is  only 
requisite  for  me  to  refer  to  the  able  survey  and 
report  of  Captain  Ross,  and  to  add  to  it  that 
excellent  water  in  convenient  situations  for  the 
supply  of  ships  is  to  be  found  in  several  places, 
and  that  the  industrious  Chinese  are  already 
established  in  the  interior  and  may  soon  be 
expected  to  supply  vegetables,  &c.,  &c.,  equal 
to  the  demand.  The  port  is  plentifully  sup- 
plied with  fish  and  turtle,  which  are  said  to 
be  more  abundant  here  than  in  any  part  of  the 
archipelago.  Rice,  salt,  and  other  necessaries 
are  always  procurable  from  Siam,  the  granary 
of  the  Malay  tribes  in  this  quarter.  Timber 
abounds  in  the  island  and  its  vicinity  ;  a  large 
part  of  the  population  are  already  engaged  in 
building  boats  and  vessels,  and  the  Chinese, 
of  whom  some  are  already  engaged  in  smelting 
the  ore  brought  from  the  tin  mines  on  the 
neighbouring  islands,  and  others  employed  as 
cultivators  and  artificers,  may  soon  be  expected 
to  increase  in  a  number  proportionate  to  the 
wants  and  interests  of  the  settlement.  .  . 

"  A  measure  of  the  nature  of  that  which  we 
have  adopted  was  in  some  degree  necessary  to 
evince  to  the  varied  and  enterprising  popula- 

(From  "Skizzen  aiis  Singapur  und  Djohor.") 



tion  of  these  islands  that  our  commercial  and 
political  views  in  this  quarter  had  not  entirely 
sunk  under  the  vaunted  power  and  encroach- 
ment of  the  Dutch,  and  to  prove  to  them  that  we 
were  determined  to  make  a  stand  against  it.  By 
maintaining  our  right  to  a  free  commerce  with 
the  Malay  States  and  inspiring  them  with  a 
confidence  in  the  stability  of  it,  we  may  con- 
template its  advancement  to  a  much  greater 
extent  than  has  hitherto  been  enjoyed.  Inde- 
pendently of  our  commerce  with  the  tribes  of 
the  archipelago,  Singapore  may  be  considered 
as  the  principal  entrepot  to  which  the  native 
traders  of  Siam,  Cambodia,  Champa,  Cochin 
China,  and  China  will  annually  resort.  It  is 
to  the  Straits  that  their  merchants  are  always 
bound  in  the  first  instance,  and  if  on  their 
arrival  they  can  find  a  market  for  their  goods 
and  the  means  of  supplying  their  wants,  they 
will  have  no  possible  inducement  to  proceed  to 
the  more  distant,  unhealthy,  and  expensive  port 
of  Batavia.  Siam,  which  is  the  granary  of  the 
countries  north  of  the  Equator,  is  rapidly  ex- 
tending her  native  commerce,  nearly  the  whole 
of  which  may  be  expected  to  centre  at  Singa- 
pore. The  passage  from  China  has  been  made 
in  less  than  six  days,  and  that  number  is  all 
that  is  requisite  in  the  favourable  monsoon  for 
the  passage  from  Singapore  to  Batavia,  Pinang, 
or  Achin,  while  two  days  are  sufficient  for  a 
voyage  to  Borneo."  ' 

Singapore  at  the  time  of  the  British  occupa- 
tion was  a  mere  squalid  fishing  village,  backed 
by  a  wi-ld,  uninhabited  country,  the  haunt  of 
the  tiger  and  other  beasts  of  prey.  But  it  was 
a  place  with  a  history.  Six  centuries  before  it 
had  been  the  Constantinople  of  these  Eastern 
seas,  the  seat  of  Malay  learning  and  commerce, 
the  focus  of  the  commerce  of  two  oceans  and 
of  part  Of  two  continents.  In  the  section  of  the 
work  treating  of  the  Federated  Malay  States  a 
lengthy  sketch  is  given  of  the  rise  of  the  Malay 
power,  and  it  is  only  necessary  here  to  deal  very 
briefly  with  the  subject.  The  most  widely  ac- 
cepted version  of  the  foundation  of  Singapore  is 
that  contained  in  the  "  Sejara  Malayu,"  or  "  Malay 
Annals,"  a  famous  work  produced  at  Goa  in  the 
early  seventeenth  century  from  a  Malay  manu- 
script The  story  here  set  forth  brings  into 
prominence  a  line  of  Malay  kings  whose  an- 
cestry is  traced  back  by  the  record  to  Alexander 
the  Great.  The  first  of  the  line,  Raja  Bachi- 
tram  Shah  (afterwards  known  as  Sang  Sapurba), 
settled  originally  in  Palembang,  Sumatra,  where 
he  married  a  daughter  of  the  local  prince.  He 
had  a  son,  Sang  Nila  Utama,  who  was  domi- 
ciled in  Bentan,  and  who,  like  his  father, 
formed  a  connection  by  marriage  with  the 
reigning  dynasty.  Finding  Bentan  too  cir- 
cumscribed for  his  energies,  Sang  Nila,  in 
1160,  crossed  the  channel  to  Singapore  and 
laid  the  foundations  of  what  subsequently 
became  known  as  the  Lion  City.  Concerning 
this  name  Sir  Frank  Swettenham,  the  historian 
of  the  Malays,  writes  i  "  Singa  is  Sanscrit  for  a 
lion  and  Pura  for  a  city,  and  the  fact  that  there 
are  no  lions  in  that  neighbourhood  now  cannot 
disprove  the  statement  that  Sang  Nila  Utama 
saw  in  1160,  or  thereabouts,  an  animal  which 
he  called  by  that  name — an  animal  more  par- 
ticularly described  by  the  annalist  as  very 
'  swift  and  beautiful,  its  body  bright  red,  its 
I  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  No.  182. 

head  jet  black,  its  breast  white,  in  size  rather 
larger  than  a  he-goat.'  That  was  the  lion  of 
Singapura,  and  whatever  else  is  doubtful  the 
name  is  a  fact-;  it  remains  to  this  day,  and 
there  is  no  reason  why  the  descendant  of 
Alexander  should  not  have  seen  something 
which  suggested  a  creature  unknown  either 
to  the  Malay  forest  or  the  Malay  language. 
It  is  even  stated,  on  the  same  authority,  that 
Singapura  had  an  earlier  name,  Tamasak, 
which  is  explained  by  some  to  mean  '  a  place 
of  festivals.'  But  that  word,  so  interpreted,  is 
not  Malay,  though  it  has  been  adopted  and 
applied  to  other  places  which  suggest  festivals 
far  less  than  this  small  tropical  island  may 
have  done,  even  so  early  as  the  year  1160.  It 
is  obvious  that  the  name  Singapura  was  not 
given  to  the  island  hy  Malays,  but  by  colonists 
from  India,  and  if  there  were  an  earlier  name, 
Tamasak  or  Tamasha,  that  also  would  be  of 
Indian  origin.  The  fact  proves  that  the  name 
Singapura  dates  from  a  very  early  period,  and 
strongly  supports  the  theory  that  the  Malays 
of  our  time  are  connected  with  a  people  who 
emigrated  from  Southern  India  to  Sumatra  and 
Java,  and  thence  found  their  way  to  the  Malay 
Peninsula."  ' 

Under  Sang  Nila's  rule  Singapore  grew  and 
flourished,  and  when  he  died,  in  1208,  he  left 
it  a  place  of  considerable  importance.  His 
successors  strengthened  its  position  until  it 
attained  to  a  degree  of  prestige  and  im- 
portance without  parallel  in  the  history  of 
any  port  in  these  seas.  Its  prosperity  appears 
to  have  been  its  ruin,  for  it  attracted  the  jealous 
notice  of  a  Javanese  prince,  the  Raja  of  Maja- 
pahit,  and  that  individual  formed  a  design  to 
conquer  the  city.  He  was  beaten  off  on  the 
first  attempt,  but  a  second  expedition  de- 
spatched in  1377  achieved  its  object  through 
the  treachery  of  a  high  official.  The  inhabi- 
tants were  put  to  the  sword  by  the  conquerors, 
and  those  of  them  who  managed  to  escape 
ultimately  settled  in  Malacca,  where  they 
founded  a  new  city.  After  this  Singapore 
declined  in  power,  until  it  finally  flickered  out 
in  the  racial  feuds  which  preceded  the  early 
European  conquests. 

Raffles  remained  only  a  short  time  at  Singa- 
pore after  the  occupation.  His  mission  to 
Achin,  which  was  associated  with  the  suc- 
cession to  the  throne,  brooked  no  delay. 
Moreover,  he  doubtless  felt  that,  as  far  as 
the  local  situation  was  concerned,  he  was 
quite  safe  in  leaving  British  interests  in  the 
capable  hands  of  Major  Farquhar.  That  Raffles 
appreciated  to  the  fullest  extent  the  value  of 
the  new  settlement  he  had  established  is  shown 
by  his  correspondence  at  this  period.  In  a 
letter  to  the  Duchess  of  Somerset  from  Pinang, 
whither  he  had  returned  to  take  up  the  threads 
of  his  new  mission,  he  wrote  under  date  Feb- 
ruary 22,  1819,  describing  the  position  of 
Singapore.  "This,"  he  said,  "is  the  ancient 
maritime  capital  of  the  Malays,  and  within  the 
walls  of  these  fortifications,  raised  not  less  than 
six  centuries  ago,  I  have  planted  the  British 
flag,  where,  I  trust,  it  will  long  triumphantly 
wave."  On  June  loth,  when  he  had  returned 
to  Singapore  after  the  completion  of  his  work 
in  Achin,  he  wrote  to  Colonel  Addenbroke,  the 

^  "  British  Malava,"  "by  Sir  Frank  Swettenham, 
p.  13. 

equerry  to  Princess  Charlotte,  explaining  in  a 
communication  of  considerable  length  the  poli- 
tical aspects  of  the  occupation.  "  You  will," 
he  said,  "probably  have  to  consult  the  map 
in  order  to  ascertain  from  what  part  of  the 
world  this  letter  is  dated.  I  shall  say  nothing 
of  the  importance  which  I  attach  to  the  per- 
manence of  the  position  I  have  taken  up  at 
Singapore  ;  it  is  a  child  of  my  own.  But  for 
my  Malay  studies  I  should  hardly  have  known 
that  such  a  place  existed  ;  not  only  the  Euro- 
pean but  the  Indian  world  was  ignorant  of  it. 
I  am  sure  you  will  wish  me  success  ;  and  I  will 
therefore  only  add  that  if  my  plans  are  con- 
firmed at  home,  it  is  my  intention  to  make  this 
my  principal  residence,  and  to  devote  the  re- 
maining years  of  my  stay  in  the  East  to  the 
advancement  of  a  colony  which,  in  every  way 
in  which  it  can  be  viewed,  bids  fair  to  be  one 
of  the  most  important,  and  at  the  same  time 
one  of  the  least  troublesome  and  expensive, 
which  we  possess.  Our  object  is  not  territory, 
but  trade  ;  a  great  commercial  emporium  and 
a  fulcrum  whence  we  may  extend  our  influence 
politically  as  circumstances  may  hereafter  re- 
quire. By  taking  immediate  possession  we 
put  a  negative  to  the  Dutch  claim  of  exclusion, 
and  at  the  same  time  revive  the  drooping  con- 
fidence of  our  allies  and  friends.  One  free 
port  in  these  seas  must  eventually  destroy  the 
spell  of  Dutch  monopoly,  and  what  Malta  is 
in  the  West,  that  may  Singapore  be  in  the 

These  and  other  letters  we  have  quoted, 
interesting  in  themselves  as  reflections  of  the 
mind  of  Raffles  at  this  eventful  period,  are  of 
special  value  from  the  light  they  throw  on  the 
controversy  which  from  time  to  time  has 
arisen  as  to  Raffles's  title  to  be  regarded  as  the 
founder  of  Singapore.  From  beginning  to  end 
there  is  no  sort  of  suggestion  that  the  scheme, 
as  finally  carried  out,  was  not  Raffles's  own. 
On  the  contrary,  there  is  direct  evidence  that 
he  acted  independently,  first  in  the  statement 
of  Lady  Raffles  that  the  plan  was  in  his  mind 
before  he  left  England,  and,  second,  in  his 
letter  to  Marsden  from  off  the  Sandheads,  in 
which  he  specifically  indicates  Singapore  as 
the  possible  goal  of  his  mission. 

Sir  Frank  Swettenham  very  fairly  states  the 
case  in  favour  of  Raffles  in  the  chapter  in  his 
work=  in  which  he  deals  with  the  early  history 
of  Singapore.  "  It  is  more  than  probable,"  he 
says,  "  that  Raffles,  by  good  luck  and  without 
assistance  from  others,  selected  Singapore  as 
the  site  of  his  avowedly  anti-Dutch  pro-British 
station.  The  idea  of  such  a  port  was  Raffles's 
own  ;  for  it  is  probable  that  his  instructions 
were  drafted  on  information  supplied  by  him- 
self, and  in  that  case  it  is  noticeable  that  Rhio 
and  Johore  are  indicated  as  likely  places  and 
not  Singapore  ;  he  went  south  with  the  express 
object  of  carrying  out  his  favourite  scheme 
before  his  masters  would  have  time  to  change 
their  minds,  or  his  rivals  to  anticipate  his  de- 
sign. Colonel  Farquhar  wasonlj'  there  to  help 
his  senior,  and  it  is  certain  that  if  there  had 
been  no  Raffles  in  1819  there  would  have  been 
no  British  Singapore  to-day." 

The  actual  occupation  of  Singapore  was  only 
the  beginning  of  Raffles's  work.     Obvious  as 

I  "  Memoir  of  Sir  T.  S.  Raffles,"  p.  3S0. 
=  "  British  Malaya,"  p.  70. 



the  advantages  of  the  situation  were  to  those 
who  knew  the  Straits,  and  palpable  as  was  the 
necessity  of  strengthening  British  influence  in 
these  seas  if  it  was  not  entirely  to  be  wiped 
out,  there  continued  a  resolute  opposition  to 
the  scheme  on  the  part  of  the  Pinang  autho- 
rities. The  hostility  of  these  narrow-minded 
bureaucrats  went  to  lengths  which  seem  per- 
fectly incredible  in  these  days.  Immediately 
on  receipt  of  the  news  of  the  occupation,  on 
f'ebruary  14,  .1819,  Bannerman  sat  down  and 
indited  a  minute  which,  with  perfect  frankness, 
revealed  the  jealous  sentiments  which  animated 
the  writer.  He  wrote:  "The  time  is  now 
come  for  throwing  aside  all  false  delicacy  in 
the  consideration  of  Sir  Stamford  Raffles's 
views  and  measures.  I  have  long  believed 
that  there  was  a  good  deal  of  personal  ambition 
and  desire  of  distinction  in  his  proceeding  to 
the  eastward  and  forming  a  settlement — at  any 
rate,  to  add  to  his  old,  worn-out  establishment 
at  Bencoolen  (so  styled  by  himself  in  a  letter  to 
the  Court  of  Directors  dated  12th  of  April  last). 
He  has  now  obtained  an  island,  which  he  is 
most  anxious  to  aggrandise  as  soon  as  possible 
at  the  expense  of  his  neighbours,  and  with  as 
large  a  regular  force  as  that  stationed  at  Fort 
Marlborough.  I  have  no  doubt  he  has  already 
determined  to  come  and  make  Singapore  the 
seat  of  his  government,  and  Bencoolen  its 

"  I  shall  now  only  add  that  before  the  ex- 
piration of  many  months  I  feel  convinced  the 
merchants  at  Calcutta  will  learn  that  this  new 
settlement  may  intercept  the  trade  of  this  port, 
but  can  never  restore  the  commerce  they 
formerly  enjoyed  with  the  Eastern  Archipelago, 
as  the  occupation  by  the  Dutch  of  Java,  Banca, 
the  Moluccas,  Rhio,  the  greater  part  of  the 
Celebes,  and  of  Borneo  must  enable  that 
Power  to  engross  the  principal  share." '  The 
petty  spite  of  this  diatribe  is  only  exceeded  by 
the  colossal  self-complacency  and  shortsighted- 
ness which  it  displays.  And  its  tone  was 
thoroughly  in  keeping  with  the  dealings  of  the 
Pinang  Government  with  the  infant  settlement. 
After  Raffles  had  left  Singapore  to  prosecute 
his  mission  to  Achin,  information  was  brought 
to  the  new  settlement  by  Captain  Ross,  the 
officer  who  made  the  preliminary  survey  of 
Singapore,  that  the  Dutch  Governor  of  Malacca 
had  strongly  recommended  the  Government  of 
Java  to  send  up  a  force  to  seize  the  British  de- 
tachment at  Singapore.  As  in  duty  bound, 
Farquhar  communicated  the  news  to  Colonel 
Bannerman,  with  a  request  for  reinforcements 
to  enable  him  to  maintain  his  post  in  the  event 
of  attack.  Colonel  Bannerman's  reply  was  a 
violently  worded  despatch  refusing  the  aid 

"  It  must  be  notorious,"  he  wrote  in  a  minute 
he  penned  on  the  subject,  "  that  any  force  we 
are  able  to  detach  to  Singapoor  could  not  resist 
the  overpowering  armament  at  the  disposal  of 
the  Batavia  Government,  although  its  presence 
would  certainly  compel  Major  Farquhar  to 
resist  the  Netherlanders,  even  to  the  shedding 
of  blood,  and  its  ultimate  and  forced  submission 
would  tarnish  the  national  honour  infinitely 
more  seriously  than  the  degradation  which 
would  ensue  from  the  retreat  of  the  small  party 
now  at  Singapoor. 

'  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  No.  1S2A. 

"Neither  Major  Farquhar's  honour  as  a 
soldier  nor  the  honour  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment now  require  him  to  attempt  the  defence 
of  Singapoor  by  force  of  arms  against  the 
Netherlanders,  as  he  knows  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles  has  occupied  that  island  in  violation 
of  the  orders  of  the  Supreme  Government, 
and  as  he  knows  that  any  opposition  from  his 
present  small  party  would  be  an  useless  and 
reprehensible  sacrifice  of  men,  when  made 
against  the  overwhelming  naval  and  military 
force  that  the  Dutch  will  employ.  Under  these 
circumstances  I  am  certain  that  Major  Farquhar 
must  be  certain  that  he  would  not  be  justified 
in  shedding  blood  in  the  maintenance  of  his 
port  at  present." 

Colonel  Bannerman  went  on  to  state  that  he 
therefore  proposed  to  send  by  the  despatch 
prahu  to  Major  Farquhar  a  letter  in  this  tenor, 
together  with  other  papers,  and  at  the  same  time 
to  forward  a  temperate  and  firm  remonstrance 
to  the  Dutch  Governor  of  Malacca,  by  means 
of  which  he  hoped  any  violent  projected 
measures  would  be  deprecated  without  affect- 
ing in  the  slightest  degree  the  national  honour 
and  credit.  He  also  proposed  that,  as  no 
other  opportunity  would  probably  occur  for 
several  weeks,  a  transport  should  be  sent 
to  Singapore  with  a  further  supply  of  six 
thousand  dollars.  "  This  last  I  am,  however, 
surprised  to  learn  that  he  should  require  so 
soon,  for  his  small  detachment  has  not  been 
forty  days  at  Singapore  before  it  appears  to 
have  expended  so  large  a  sum  as  15,000  dollars 
which  was  taken  with  it." 

The  minute  proceeded  :  "  In  proposing  to 
send  this  transport  to  Major  Farquhar  I  have 
another  object  in  view.  I  have  just  had  reason 
to  believe  that  the  Gauges  and  Ncarchiis  (the 
only  two  vessels  now  at  Singapore)  are  quite 
incapable  of  receiving  on  board  the  whole  of 
the  detachment  there  in  the  event  of  Major 
Farquhar's  judgment  deciding  that  a  retreat 
from  the  port  would  be  most  advisable.  If, 
therefore,  one  of  the  transports  is  victualled 
equal  to  one  month's  consumption  for  250  men 
and  sent  to  Singapore  with  authority  given  to 
Major  Farquhar  to  employ  her  should  her 
services  be  requisite,  that  officer  will  then  have 
ample  means  for  removing,  whenever  indis- 
pensably necessary,  not  only  all  his  party,  but 
such  of  the  native  inhabitants  as  may  fear  the 
Dutch  vengeance,  and  whom  it  would  be  most 
cruel  to  desert." 

The  minute  went  on  to  say  that  the  transport 
would  be  a  means  of  withdrawing  the  Singa- 
pore garrison  in  a  British  ship  and  saving  the 
national  character  from  a  very  great  portion  of 
the  disgrace  and  mortification  of  having  Major 
Farquhar  embarked  by  the  Dutch  on  their  own 

Colonel  Bannerman  concluded  as  follows  : 
"  However  invidious  the  task,  I  cannot  close 
this  minute  without  pointing  out  to  the  notice 
of  our  superiors  the  very  extraordinary  conduct 
of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Bencoolen.  He 
posts  a  detachment  at  Singapoor  under  very 
equivocal  circumstances,  without  even  the 
means  of  coming  away,  and  with  such  de- 
fective instructions  and  slender  resources  that, 
before  it  has  been  there  a  month,  its  com- 
mander is  obliged  to  apply  for  money  to  this 
Government,  whose  dutv  it  becomes  to  offer 

that  officer  advice  and  means  against  an  event 
which  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  ought  to  have  ex- 
pected, and  for  which  he  ought  to  have  made 
an  express  provision  in  his  instructions  to  that 

"  My  letters  of  the  isth  and  17th  February 
will  prove  that  upon  his  return  from  Singapore 
I  offered  him  any  supplies  he  might  require 
for  the  detachment  he  had  left  there,  and  also 
earnestly  called  upon  him  to  transmit  instruc- 
tions to  Major  Farquhar  for  the  guidance  of  his 
conduct  in  the  possible  event  of  the  Nether- 
landers attempting  to  dislodge  him  by  force  of 
arms.     Did  he  avail  himself  of  my  offer  ? 
No,  he  set  off  for  Achin  and  left  Major  Farquhar 
to   shift  for  himself.    In   fact,  he  acted  (as  a 
friend  of  mine  emphatically  observed)  like  a 
man  who  sets  a  house  on  fire  and  then  runs 
away."     This  extraordinary  effusion  reveals  the 
animus  and  stupidity  with  which  Raffles  was 
pursued  in  the  prosecution  of  his  great  design. 
But  it  does  not  stand  alone.  While  Bannerman 
was  doing  his  best  to  destroy  RafHes's  work  by 
withholding   much-needed   support   from   the 
tiny  force  planted  at  Singapore,  he  was  inditing 
highly-coloured  despatches  to  the  authorities  in 
Calcutta  and  at  home  on  the  mischievousneSs 
of   the   policy  that  had  been  embarked  upon. 
In  one  of  these  communications  despatched  to 
the  Court  of  Directors  on  March  4,  1819,  shortly 
after  the   news  of  the  occupation  had  been 
received  at   Pinang,  the   irate  official  wrote  : 
"  My  honourable  employers  will  observe  that 
the  Governor-General  in  Council  was  pleased 
to  grant  the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Bencoolen 
a  special  commission  to  visit  this  presidency  to 
execute  important    duties    belonging    to    this 
Government,  and  already  recommended  by  me 
under  the   most  favourable   auspices,   and  to 
make    me    the    instrument    of    assisting    that 
gentleman   to  aggrandise  his  own  name  and 
settlement  at   the  expense  of    the    character, 
dignity,   and  local   influence  of   this   Govern- 
ment."   To    Calcutta    Bannerman    addressed 
despatches  condemning    in    unsparing    terms 
the  action  that  had  been  taken,  and  confidently 
looking  for  support  in  the  line  of  policy  he  had 
pursued  in  opposition  to  Raffles.    There  was  at 
the  outset  a  disposition  on  the   part  of   the 
Supreme  Government  to  think  that  in  despatch- 
ing  Raffles  on    his    mission    they  had    been 
precipitate.     Influenced  by  the  news  of  Dutch 
aggressiveness,  and  impressed  also  probably 
by    Bannerman's   gloomy  vaticinations    upon 
the  situation,  they  addressed  a  letter  to  Pinang 
expressing  the  view  that  it  might  be  desirable 
to  relinquish  the  mission.     But  their  hesitation 
was    only  temporary.      With    the    receipt  of 
Raffles's  own  communications  there  was  borne 
in  upon  them  the  importance  of  upholding  his 
action.    Then  the  storm  broke  upon  Colonel 
Bannerman   for    the  part   he   had   played  in 
obstructing  the  mission.     In  a  despatch  dated 
April   8,   1819,   the   Governor-General    poured 
upon  the  unfortunate   Governor  a  volume  of 
censure  such  as  has  rarely  been  meted  out  to  a 
high   official.      "  With    regard  to   the  station 
established  at  Singapore,"  said  the  Governor- 
General,   "  though   we   are    not    prepared    to 
express  any  final  opinion  upon  the  determina- 
tion adopted  by  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  to  occupy 
that  harbour,  we  cannot  think  it  was  within 
the  province  of  your  Government  to  pronounce 



a  decisive  opinion  upon  a  violation  of  his  in- 
structions. Commissioned  and  entrusted  by 
this  Government,  to  this  Government  alone  he 
was  answerable.  The  instructions  under  which 
he  acted,  and  which  were  communicated  to 
your  Government  that  you  might  the  more 
readily  promote  the  object,  were  adapted  to 
the  port  of  Rhio  chiefly,  and  the  probability 
that  the  Dutch  might  anticipate  us  there 
rendered  it  necessary  to  prescribe  a  line  which 
was  in  that  contingency  to  be  followed  with 
the  utmost  exactness.  The  same  principle  was 
in  the  subsequent  instructions  extended  to 
Johore.  In  both  cases  the  injunctions  referred 
to  the  possible  event  of  an  apparent  right 
having  been  actually  advanced  by  the  Dutch. 
But  though  the  spirit  of  inculcation  to  avoid 
collision  with  the  Dutch  applied  itself  to  any 
other  position,  it  necessarily  did  so  with  a 
latitude  suited  to  circumstances. 

"  We  think  your  Government  entirely  wrong 
in  determining  so  broadly  against  the  propriety 
of  the  step  taken  by  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  on 
a  simple  reclamation  from  the  Governor  of 
Malacca,  which,  whether  well  or  ill, founded, 
was  to  be  looked  for  as  certain.  .  .  . 

"  Under  these  circumstances  it  does  not 
appear  to  us  that  any  doubts  which  may  be 
excited  at  the  present  stage  of  the  business 
could  be  a  legitimate  principle  for  your 
guidance,  so  as  to  exonerate  you  from  the 
obligation  of  fulfilling  our  directions  for  your 
supporting  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  with  a  moderate 
force  should  he  establish  a  station  on  the 
Eastern  sea.  So  far  do  we  regard  you  from 
being  freed  fronl  the  call  to  act  upon  our  instruc- 
tions, that  we  fear  you  would  have  difficulty 
in  excusing  yourselves  should  the  Dutch  be 
tempted  to  violence  by  the  weakness  of  the 
detachment  at  Singapore  and  succeed  in  dis- 
lodging it.  Fortunately  there  does  not  appear 
the  likelihood  of  such  an  extremity.  Repre- 
sentations will  be  made  to  this  Government, 
and  investigations  must  be  set  on  foot  ;  in 
the  interval  which  these  will  occupy,  we  have 
to  request  from  your  Government  every  aid  to 
the  factory  at  Singapore.  The  jealousy  of  it 
which  we  lament  to  have  been  avowed  and 
recorded  would  find  no  tolerance  with  the 
British  Government  should  misfortune  occur 
and  be  traceable  to  neglects  originating  in  such 
a  feeling.  Whether  the  measure  of  occupying 
it  should  ultimately  be  judged  to  have  been 
indiscreetly  risked  or  otherwise,  the  procedure 
must  be  upheld,  unless  we  shall  be  satisfied 
(which  is  not  now  the  case)  that  perseverance 
in  maintaining  the  port  would  be  an  infraction 
of  equity." 

In  a  private  letter,  of  somewhat  earlier  date, 
the  Governor-General  explained  at  some  length 
the  principles  which  had  guided  him  in  entrust- 
ing the  mission  to  Raffles.  He  wrote  :  "  It  is 
impossible  to  form  rational  directions  for  the 
guidance  of  any  mission  without  allowing  a 
degree  of  discretion  to  be  exercised  in  con- 
tingencies which,  though  foreseen,  cannot  be 
exactly  measured,  but  the  particular  principle 
by  which  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  was  to  be  ruled 
was  so  broadly  and  positively  marked  as  to 
admit  no  excuse  for  proceedings  inconsistent 
with  its  tenor.  For  that  reason  I  have  to  infer 
the  unlikelihood  of  his  hazarding  anything 
contrary  to  our  wishes.  . 

"  We  never  meant  to  show  such  obsequious- 
ness to  the  Dutch  as  to  forbear  securing  those 
interests  of  ours  which  tljey  had  insidiously 
and  basely  assailed  out  of  deference  to  the 
title  which  they  were  disposed  to  advance  of 
supremacy  over  every  island  and  coast  of  the 
Eastern  Archipelago.  It  was  to  defeat  that 
profligate  speculation  that  we  commissioned 
Sir  Stamford  Raffles  to  aim  at  obtaining  some 
station  which  would  prevent  the  entire  com- 
mand of  the  Straits  of  Malacca  from  falling 
into  the  hands  of  the  Dutch,  there  being  many 
unpossessed  by  them  and  not  standing  within 
any  hitherto  asserted  pretensions." 

Bannerman  replied  to  this  letter  in  a  "  hurried 
note,"  in  which  he  said  that  he  bowed  with 
deference  to  his  lordship's  views.  "  I  have," 
he  went  on,  "received  a  lesson  which  shall 
teach  me  how  I  again  presume  to  offer  opinions 
as  long  as  I  live."  He  trusted  his  lordship 
would  perceive  from  their  despatch  in  reply 
"  that  our  respect  and  attachment  have  in  no 
degree  abated,  and  that  though  we  have  not 
the  elation  of  success  we  still  do  not  possess 
the  suUenness  of  discomfiture."  The  despatch 
referred  to  (dated  May  i8,  1819),  entered  at 
lenglh  into  the  controversy,  extenuating  the 
course  that  the  Pinang  authorities  had  taken, 
and  asking  that  if  Singapore  was  retained  it 
should  be  placed  under  the  Pinang  Govern- 
ment.    The  despatch  concluded  : 

"  I  am  sorry,  my  lord,  to  have  trespassed  so 
long  on  your  time,  but  1  have  a  whole  life  of 
character  to  defend,  and  in  this  vindication  I 
hope  I  have  not  borne  harder  than  what  is 
necessary  upon  Sir  S.  Raffles  and  others.  I 
have  taken  particular  care  to  have  here  no 
personal  controversy  or  cause  of  personal  dis- 
pute with  that  gentleman.  On  the  contrary  he 
and  his  amiable  lady  have  received  from  me 
since  their  first  arrival  from  Calcutta  every 
personal  civility  and  attention  which  your 
Excellency  had  desired  me  to  show  them  in 
your  lordship's  private  communication  of  the 
29th  of  November,  and  which  my  public  situa- 
tion here  rendered  it  incumbent  on  me  to  offer. 
Illiberal  or  malicious  revenge,  I  thank  God, 
my  heart  knows  not,  and  has  never  known. 
The  revenge  which  may  be  apparent  in  this 
address  is  only  such  as  justice  imperiously 
required  and  morality  sanctioned.  Its  only 
objects  were  to  procure  reparation  for  the 
injury  I  have  sustained,  and  to  promote  the 
just  ends  of  punishment." » 

Just  prior  to  the  receipt  of  the  final  crushing 
despatch  from  the  Governor-General,  Colonel 
Bannerman  had  forwarded  to  the  Court  of 
Directors  at  home  a  long  communication,  in 
which  he  marshalled,  not  without  skill,  the 
familiar  arguments  against  the  occupation  of 
Singapore.  He  concluded  with  this  passage  : 
"  It  will  now  remain  for  the  Honourable  Court 
to  decide  whether  the  occupation  of  Singapore 
by  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  is  an  equivalent  for  the 
certain  ill-will  it  has  excited  against  us  from 
the  Dutch  authorities  in  India,  for  the  enormous 
expense  it  has  saddled  on  the  India  Company, 
and  for  the  probable  disaster  it  has  entailed  on 
all  the  negotiations  contemplated  between  the 
two  Courts  in  Europe."  This  communication 
was  written  on  the  24th  of  June.  A  week  later 
another  letter  was  forwarded.  It  was  couched 
"Straits  Settlements  Records,"  No.  182A. 

in  terms  indicative  of  the  heaviness  of  the 
blow  which  had  fallen  upon  the  old  soldier- 
administrator.  Bannerman  wrote  :  "  We  now 
beg  leave  to  submit  to  your  Honourable  Court 
the  letter  which  we  have  received  from  the 
Most  Noble  the  Governor-General  in  Council 
in  reply  to  all  our  despatches  and  references 
on  the  subject  of  the  Achin  mission  and  Sir 
Stamford  Raffles's  Eastern  mission,  and  we  feel 
the  most  poignant  sorrow  in  acquainting  your 
Honourable  Court  that  this  despatch  conveys 
to  us  sentiments  of  reproof  and  animadversion 
from  that  exalted  authority  instead  of  approval 
and  commendation,  which  we  confess  to  have 
expected  with  the  fullest  confidence. 

"  We  had  as  full  a  knowledge  of  the  in- 
structions of  the  Supreme  Government  on 
these  matters  as  Sir  S.  Raffles  himself  had,  unless 
(which  our  duty  will  not  allow  us  to  believe) 
Sir  S.  Raffles  had  actually,  as  he  always  stated 
to  our  President,  other  verbal  orders  from  the 
Governor-General  which  appeared  diametri- 
cally opposite  to  the  spirit  and  letter  of  his 
written  instructions,  and  we  had  certainly  as 
lively  and  a  more  immediate  interest  from 
proximity  to  uphold  the  welfare  and  advantage 
of  the  public  interest  in  this  quarter." 

The  despatch  proceeded  to  state  that  the 
Governor  and  his  Council  offered  "  such  ah 
explanation  as  a  sense  of  duty  and  a  regard 
for  our  personal  honour  and  reputation  point 
out  to  us  "  ;  and  then  added  that  if  their  remarks 
had  the  effect  of  averting  from  that  Govern- 
ment the  accusation  of  its  being  actuated  by 
jealousy  or  other  motives  of  an  invidious  nature 
they  would  be  fully  satisfied.  Then  followed 
this  parting  shot  at  the  occupation  : 

"  Relative  to  the  new  establishment  of  Singa- 
pore, your  Honourable  Court  will  now  be 
enabled  to  judge  whether  the  violent  measure 
of  occupying  such  in  defiance  of  the  Dutch 
claims  will  eventually  prove  more  beneficial  to 
your  or  the  national  interests  in  the  Eastern 
Archipelago  than  would  have  been  effected  by 
the  adoption  of  the  mild,  conciliating,  and,  we 
may  say,  economical  policy  recommended  so 
strenuously  by  this  Government  in  pursuance 
of  the  original  views  of  the  Governor-General. 
The  commercial  advantages  of  Singapore, 
whilst  the  Dutch  hold  the  places  of  growth  and 
manufacture  of  the  great  staples  of  the  Eastern 
Archipelago,  appear  to  us  more  than  proble- 
matical. Your  Honourable  Court  may  recollect 
that  the  first  occupation  of  this  island  gave  rise 
to  similar  extravagant  prognostications  of  great 
commercial  benefits,  so  little  of  which  have  ever 
been  realised,  although  it  has  cost  the  India 
Company  a  debt  of  nearly  four  million  sterling 
in  enlarging  and  improving  its  capacity.  .  .  . 
On  the  other  hand,  the  political  advantages  of 
Singapore  in  time  of  war  appear  to  us  still 
less,  and  by  no  means  necessary  whilst  in 
possession  of  such  immense  resources  in  India, 
which  we  can  always  bring  in  less  than  a 
month  after  the  declaration  of  war  against  any 
settlements  that  the  Dutch  may  form  in  these 

Colonel  Bannerman  was  not  content  to  rely 
on  the  despatches  for  his  justification.  Accom- 
panying them  he  sent  letters  to  the  Chairman 
and  Deputy-Chairman  of  the  Court,  in  which 
he  said  that  he  hoped  and  trusted  that  all  his 
proceedings  in  respect  to  Singapore  "will  bear 



mc  out  in  the  declaration  which  I  now  solemnly 
and  on  my  honour  and  conscience  utter,  that 
the  interests  and  only  the  interests  of  my 
honourable  employers  have  influenced  and 
directed  the  whole  of  my  conduct,  and  that  I 
had  on  the  occasion  no  other  personal  interest 
excepting  a  very  strong  one  not  to  do  what  I 
considered  my  duty  from  the  view  of  the  very 
event  which  has  now  happened — the  possibility 
of  my  opposition  to  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  being 
imputed  to  so  base  and  ignoble  a  motive  as 
petty  jealousy."  The  Court  of  Directors  proved 
scarcely  more  sympathetic  than  the  Supreme 
Government  had  shown  themselves.  They  re- 
plied in  a  despatch  in  which,  while  conceding 
that  Bannerman  had  been  actuated  by  a  sense 
of  duty,  they  expressed  regret  that  he  had  been 
betrayed  by  the  warmth  of  discussion  into  an 
imputation  upon  Sir  Stamford  Raffles's  motives 
"  totally  irreconcilable  with  every  principle  of 
public  duty."  The  unfortunate  Governor  was 
saved  this  final  stinging  rebuke.  Before  the 
despatch  reached  Pinang — before,  indeed,  it 
was  written — he  had  gone  to  his  last  account. 
Worn  out  with  worry  and  depressed  by  the 
mortification  of  defeat,  he  died  on  August  i, 
1819.  He  was  in  some  respects  an  excellent 
administrator,  but  he  lacked  conspicuously  the 
qualities  of  foresight  and  force  of  character 
necessary  in  such  a  situation  as  that  in  which  he 
found  himself  in  the  closing  days  of  his  career. 
His  treatment  of  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  and  his 
general  handling  of  the  crisis  precipitated  by 
the  aggressive  polic>'  of  the  Dutch  will  always 
remain  a  monumental  example  of  official  in- 

While  the  authorities  at  home  were  not 
disposed  to  back  up  Colonel  Bannerman,  they 
were  little  inclined  to  support  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles.  When  news  of  the  occupation  reached 
London,  the  Secret  Committee  of  the  East 
India  Company,  who  had  previously  written 
to  Lord  Hastings  disapproving  of  the  mission, 
wrote  a  violently  worded  despatch  in  which 
they  declared  that  "  any  difficulty  with  the 
Dutch  will  be  created  by  Sir  Stamford  Raffles's 
intemperance  of  conduct  and  language."  They 
graciously  intimated,  however,  that  they  would 
await  the  further  explanations  of  Lord  Hastings 
"  before  retaining  or  relinquishing  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles's  acquisition  at  Singapore." 

Downing  Street  joined  with  Leadenhall 
Street  in  angry  pronouncements  upon  what 
both  regarded  as  an  ill-advised  and  ill-timed 
display  of  excessive  zeal  on  the  part  of  a 
reckless  subordinate.  A  premonition  of  the 
storm  must  have  been  borne  in  upon  Raffles, 
for  at  the  very  earliest  stage  of  the  occupation 
he  took  measures  to  explain  the  importance  of 
Singapore  to  influential  personages  at  home 
who  would  be  able  to  raise  their  voices  with 
effect  in  the  event  of  any  retrograde  policy 
being  favoured.  To  Marsden  he  wrote  at 
regular  intervals  with  the  express  object,  we 
may  assume,  of  enlisting  his  powerful  support. 
On  January  31,  1819,  the  day  of  the  signature 
of  the  treaty  with  the  Dalo'  Tcmenggong, 
Raffles  addressed  the  following  to  his  friend  : 

"This  place  possesses  an  excellent  harbour 
and  everything  that  can  be  desired  for  a  British 
port,  and  the  island  of  St.  John's,  which  forms 
the  SW.  point  of  the  harbour.  W'c  have  com- 
manded   an    intercourse    with    all    the    ships 

passing  through  the  Straits  of  Singapore.  We 
are  within  a  week's  sail  of  China,  close  to 
Siam  and  in  the  very  seat  of  the  Malayan 
Empire.  This,  therefore,  will  probably  be  my 
last  attempt.  If  I  am  deserted  now  I  must 
fain  return  to  Bencoolen  and  become  philo- 

Writing  later,  on  February  19th,  Raffles 
says  : 

"  In  short,  Singapore  is  everything  we  could 
desire,  and  I  ma\'  consider  myself  most  for- 
tunate in  the  selection  ;  it  will  soon  rise  into 
importance,  and  with  this  single  station  alone  I 
would  undertake  to  counteract  all  the  plans  of 
Mynheer  ;  it  breaks  the  spell,  and  they  are  no 
longer  the  exclusive  sovereigns  of  Eastern 

Again,  under  date  June  15,  1819,  Raffles 
writes  : 

"  I  am  happy  to  inform  you  that  everything 
is  going  on  well  here  ;  it  bids  fair  to  be  the 
next  port  to  Calcutta  ;  all  we  want  now  is  the 
certainty  of  permanent  possession,  and  this,  of 
course,  depends  on  authorities  beyond  our 
control.  You  may  take  my  word  for  it  this  is 
by  far  the  most  important  station  in  the  East, 
and  as  far  as  naval  superiority  and  commercial 
interests  are  concerned,  of  much  higher  value 
than  whole  continents  of  territory." 

Raffles's  unwavering  confidence  in  the  future 
of  Singapore,  expressed  so  trenchantly  in  these 
letters,  convinced  his  friends  at  home  of  the 
value  of  the  acquisition  he  had  made  ;  but  his 
enemies  and  rivals  were  persistent,  and  for  a 
long  time  the  fate  of  the  settlement  hung  in 
the  balance.  Echoes  of  the  discussions  from 
time  to  time  reached  Raffles  in  the  Straits,  and 
he  was  naturally  affected  by  them.  More  in 
sorrow  than  in  anger  we  find  him  writing  on 
July  17,  1820  :  "  I  learn  with  much  regret  the 
prejudice  and  the  malignity  by  which  I  am 
attacked  at  home  for  the  desperate  struggle  I 
have  maintained  against  the  Dutch.  Instead  of 
being  supported  by  my  own  Government,  I 
find  them  deserting  me  and  giving  way  in 
every  instance  to  the  unscrupulous  and  enor- 
mous assertions  of  the  Dutch.  All,  however, 
is  safe  so  far,  and  if  matters  are  only  allowed 
to  remain  as  they  are,  all  will  go  well.  The 
great  blow  has  been  struck,  and,  though  I  may 
personally  suffer  in  the  scuffle,  the  nation  must 
be  benefited.  Were  the  value  of  Singapore 
properly  appreciated,  I  am  confident  that  all 
England  would  be  in  its  favour.  It  positively 
takes  nothing  from  the  Dutch,  and  is  to  us 
everything  ;  it  gives  us  the  command  of  China 
and  Japan,  vui  Siam  and  Cambodia,  Cochin 
China,  &c.,  to  say  nothing  of  the  islands  them- 
selves. .  .  Let  the  commercial  interests  for 
the  present  drop  every  idea  of  a  direct  trade  to 
China,  and  let  them  concentrate  their  influence 
in  supporting  Singapore,  and  they  will  do  ten 
times  better.  As  a  free  port  it  is  as  much  to 
them  as  the  possession  of  Macao  ;  and  it  is  here 
their  voyages  should  finish.  .  .  .  Singapore 
may  as  a  free  port  thus  become  tlie  connecting 
link  and  grand  ciihifol  between  Europe,  Asia, 
and  China  ;  it  is,  in  fact,  fast  becoming  so," 

Again,  writing  on  July  22,  1820,  Raffles  further 
alludes  to  the  talk  of  abandonment.  "It  appears 
to  me  impossible  that  Singapore  should  be 
given  up,  and  yet  the  indecisive  manner  in 
which  the   Ministers   express  themselves,  .and 

the  unjust  and  harsh  terms  they  use  towards 
me,  render  it  doubtful  what  course  they  will 

Happily  his  confidence  in  the  convincing 
strength  of  the  arguments  for  retention  was 
justified.  The  Marquess  of  Hastings,  after  his 
first  lapse  into  timidity,  firmly  asserted  the 
British  claim  to  maintain  the  occupation.  In 
replying  to  a  despatch  from  Baron  'Vander 
Capellan,  Governor-General  of  Netherlands 
India,  protesting  against  the  British  action, 
his  lordship  maintained  that  the  chiefs  who 
ceded  Singapore  were  perfectly  independent 
chiefs,  fully  competent  to  make  arrangements 
with  respect  to  Singapore.  He  intimated, 
however,  that  if  it  should  prove  on  fuller 
information  that  the  Netherlands  Government 
possessed  a  right  to  the  exclusive  occupation 
of  Singapore,  the  Government  would,  "  without 
hesitation,  obey  the  dictates  of  justice  by  with- 
drawing all  our  establishments  from  the  place." 
Some  time  later,  in  July,  1819,  the  Marquess  of 
Hastings  addressed  another  despatch,  in  which 
he  outlined  at  some  length  the  views  of  the 
Supreme  Government  of  India  in  reference  to 
the  Dutch  claims.  He  affirmed  that  a  manifest 
necessity  existed  for  counteracting  the  Dutch 
exertions  to  secure  absolute  supremacy  in  the 
Eastern  seas  ;  that  the  views  of  the  British 
Government  had  always  been  confined  to  the 
security  of  British  commerce  ancl  the  freedom 
of  other  nations  ;  that  it  was  held  that  the 
Dutch  had  no  just  claim  founded  on  engage- 
ments which  might  have  been  made  with  the 
native  princes  before  the  transfer  of  Malacca 
in  1795  ;  that  their  only  right  depended  on 
the  treaty  concluded  at  Riau  on  November  26, 
1818,  but  which  was  subsequent  to  the  one 
entered  into  by  Major  Farquhar  on  the  part 
of  the  British  Government  with  the  Govern- 
ment of  Riau  as  an  independent  State  in  the 
August  preceding  ;  that  under  this  view  the 
Dutch  had  adopted  the  most  injurious  and 
extraordinary  proceeding  of  making  a  treaty 
declaring  that  of  the  British  to  be  null  and 
void  ;  and  that  the  Dutch  authorities  who 
transferred  Malacca  in  1795  had  declared  that 
Riau,  Johore,  Pahang  and  Lingen,  through  the 
first  of  which  the  Dutch  claimed  Singapore, 
were  not  dependencies  of  Malacca.  In  a 
further  despatch,  dated  August  21,  1819, 
Hastings  closed  the  controversy,  as  far  as  his 
Government  was  concerned,  by  reaffirming 
the  untenability  of  the  Dutch  claims  and 
declaring  that  the  sole  object  Of  the  British 
Government  was  to  protect  its  own  interests 
against  what  had  appeared  an  alarming  in- 
dication of  pretensions  to  supremacy  and 
monopoly  on  the  part  of  the  Netherlandish 
authorities  in  seas  hitherto  free  to  all  parties. 
The  dispute  continued  to  rage  in  Europe  for 
some  time  after  this,  the  Dutch  pressing  their 
claims  with  characteristic  tenacity  upon  the 
attention  of  the  British  Government.  Indeed, 
it  was  not  until  1824,  when  a  general  settle- 
ment was  arrived  at  between  the  two  Govern- 
ments, that  the  final  word  was  said  on  the 
subject  of  Singapore.  The  advocacy  of  power- 
ful friends  whose  aid  Raffles  was  able  to 
invoke  unquestionably  had  considerable  in- 
fluence in  securing  the  ultimate  verdict  in 
favour  of  retention.  But  the  concession  was 
grudgingly  made,  and  Raffles  was  left  to  reap 



the  reward  of  his  prescient  statesmanship  in 
the  linowledge  that  he  had  won  for  his  country 
this  great  strategical  centre  in  the  Eastern  sea. 
It  is  a  chapter  in  British  colonial  history 
which  redounds  little  to  the  credit  of  either 
the  British  official  world  or  the  British  people. 
Their  sole  excuse  is  that  they  were  ignorant 
and  acted  ignorantly.  The  age  was  one  in 
which  scant  thought  was  given  to  question-, 
of  world  policy,  which  now  are  of  recognised 
importance.  Moreover,  long  years  of  war,  in 
which  the  country  had  been  reduced  to  the 
point  of  exhaustion,  had  left  people  little  in 
the  mood  to  accept  new  responsibilities  which 
carried  with  lliem  (he  possibility  of  inter- 
national strife.  Still,  when  every  allowance 
is  made  for  the  circumstances  of  the  time,  it 
must  be  conceded  that  the  treatment  of  Raffles 
at  this  period,  and  the  subsequent  neglect  of 
his  memory,  have  left  an  indelible  stain  upon 
the  reputation  of  his  countrymen  for  generosity. 


The  Buildin'g  of  the  City. 

Viewing  the  Singapore  of  to-day,  with  its 
streets  thronged  with  a  cosmopolitan  crowd 
drawn  from  every  quarter  of  the  globe,  its 
bustling  wharves  instinct  with  a  vigorous  com- 
mercial life,  and  its  noble  harbour,  in  which 
float  every  kind  of  craft,  from  the  leviathan 
liner  of  10,000  tons  to  the  tiny  Malay  fishing 
boat,  it  is  difficult  to  realise  that  less  than  a 
century  ago  the  place  was  nothing  more  than 
a  small  Malay  settlement,  in  which  a  mere 
handful  of  natives  eked  out  a  precarious  exis- 
tence by  fishing,  with  an  occasional  piratical 
raid  on  the  adjoining  coasts.  Yet  if  there  is 
one  fact  more  conclusive  than  another  in  the 
history  of  this  great  port,  it  is  that  it  is  a  pure 
product  of  British  foresight,  energy,  and  com- 
mercial aptitude.  Discovering  an  incomparable 
position,  the  Empire  builders,  represented  by 
Raffles  and  his  lieutenants  and  successors, 
dug  deep  and  wide  the  foundations  of  the 
city,  and  the  genius  and  enterprise  of  British 
merchants  did  the  rest.  Sometimes  it  has 
happened  that  a  great  colonial  city  has  attained 
to  eminence  through  accidental  causes,  as,  for 
example,  in  the  cases  of  Kimberley  and 
Johannesburg.  But  Singapore  owes  nothing 
of  its  greatness  to  adventitious  aids.  As  we 
have  seen  in  the  extracts  cited  from  Raflles's 
letters,  its  ultimate  position  of  importance  in  the 
Empire  was  accurately  forecasted  ;  before  one 
stone  had  been  laid  upon  another  the  founders 
knew  that  they  were  designing  what  would 
be  no  "mean  city" — a  commercial  entrepot 
which  would  vie  with  the  greatest  in  the 

From  the  practical  point  of  view  there  were 
many  advantages  in  the  situation  which  RafHes 
found  when  he  occupied  Singapore.  Rights 
of  property  there  were  none  outside  the 
interests  of  the  overlord,  which  were  readily 
satisfied  by  the  monetary  allowance  provided 
for  under  the  treaties  with  the  Sultan  and  the 
Temenggong.  There  was  no  large  resident 
population  to  cause  trouble  and  friction,  and 

there  were  no  local  laws  to  conllict  with 
British  juridical  principles.  In  fine.  Rallies 
and  his  associates  had  a  clL'an  slate  on  which 
to  draw  at  their  fancy  the  lines  of  the  settle- 
ment. They  drew  with  perspicacity  and  a 
courageous  faith  in  the  future.  We  catch 
occasional  glimpses  of  the  life  of  the  infant 
settlement  as  reflected  in  the  oflicial  literature 
of  the  period  or  in  the  meagre  columns  of  the 
Pinang  newspaper.  In  the  very  earliest  days 
of  the  occupation  an  incoming  ship  from  China 
reports,  we  may  imagine  with  a  sharp  note  of 
interrogation,  the  presence  of  four  ships  in  the 
roadstead  at  Singapore  and  of  tents  on  the 
shore.  The  Stores  Department  is  indented 
on  for  building  materials,  food  supplies,  and 
for  munitions  of  war,  including  a  battery  of 
i8-pounder  guns,  with  a  hundred  rounds  of 
ammunition  per  gun.  Invalids  from  the  island 
arrive,  and  are  drafted  to  the  local  hospital 
for  treatment.  Then  comes  crowning  evidence 
that  the  settlement  is  really  growing  and 
thriving  in  this  interesting  domestic  announce- 
ment in  the  C(5lumns  of  the  Prince  of  Wales 
Island  Gazette  of  August  7,  1819.  "  Sincapore 
birth. — On  the  25th  of  July,  Mrs.  Barnard  of  a 
daughter.  This  is  the  first  birth  at  the  new 

The  first  official  step  in  the  creation  of  the 
new  Singapore  was  the  issue  on  February  6, 
1819,  by  Sir  Stamford  Raffles,  of  a  proclamation 
announcing  the, conclusion  of  the  treaty  which 
made  the  place  a  British  settlement.  Simulta- 
neously Rallies  addressed  to  Colonel  Farquhar 
(as  he  had  now  become)  a  letter  instructing 
him  as  to  the  course  he  was  to  pursue  in  all 
matters  aflecting  the  settlement.  By  this 
time  the  general  lines  of  the  new  town  had 
been  provisionally  settled.  The  site  of  the 
settlement  was  fixed  on  the  identical  spot 
which  Raffles  beHeved,  from  the  perusal  of 
Malayan  history,  was  occupied  by  the  old  city. 
Beyond  the  erection  of  a  few  temporary 
buildings  and  the  tracing  of  one  or  two 
necessary  roads,  little  seems  to  have  been  done 
during  the  first  few  months  of  the  occupation, 
probably  because  of  the  uncertainty  in  which 
the  future  of  the  place  was  enshrouded  in 
consequence  of  the  political  complications. 
But  on  Raffles's  return  to  Singapore  on  the 
completion  of  his  mission  to  Achin,  he  devoted 
himself  in  earnest  to  the  task  of  devising 
arrangements  for  the  administration  of  the 
important  port  which  his  instinct  told  him 
would  spring  up  phoenix-like  out  of  the  ashes 
of  the  dead  and  half-forgotten  Malay  city. 
The  plan  which  he  finally  evolved  is  sketched 
in  an  elaborate  letter  of  instructions,  dated 
June  26,  1819,  which  he  addressed  to  Farquhar 
just  prior  to  his  second  departure  from  the 
island.  The  European  town,  he  directed, 
should  be  erected  without  loss  of  time.  This, 
he  estimated,  should  extend  along  the  beach 
for  a  distance  of  200  yards  from  the  lines  as  far 
eastward  as  practicable,  and  should  include  as 
mucli  of  the  ground  that  had  already  been 
cleared  of  the  Bugis  as  was  required,  the 
occupants  being  reimbursed  for  the  expense 
they  had  been  put  to  in  making  the  clearances, 
and  given  other  ground  in  lieu  of  the  sites  first 
chosen.  He  directed  that  for  the  time  being 
the  space  lying  between  the  new  road  and  the 
beach    should    be  reserved    for   Government, 

while  the  aiea  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  road 
should  be  immediately  marked  out  into  twelve 
separate  allotments,  with  an  equal  frontage,  to 
be  appropriated  to  the  first  ropcclable  Euro- 
pean applicants.  In  practice  it  was  found 
impossible  to  adhere  to  this  plan.  The  mer- 
chants were  indisposed  to  build  along  the 
north  beach  on  the  space  allotted  to  them, 
owing  to  the  inconvenience  to  shipping 
resulting  from  the  low  level  of  the  beach. 
Farquhar,  to  relieve  the  situation,  granted 
them  permission  to  appropriate  the  Govern- 
ment reserved  land  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
river,  on  the  understanding  that  they  must  be 
prepared  to  mo\e  if  required  to  do  so.  In 
October,  1822,  when  Raflles  returned  to  take 
over  the  Government  of  the  island,  he  found 
that  a  number  of  houses  had  already  been 
built  on  the  reserved  ground.  He  appointed 
a  committee  consisting  of  three  disinterested 
persons — Dr.  Wallich  of  Calcutta,  Dr.  Lumsdain 
and  Captain  Salmond  of  Bencoolen— to  assist 
him  in  fixing  a  new  ^ite  for  the  town.  After 
much  consideration  it  was  decided  to  level  a 
small  hill  on  the  south  side,  on  the  site  of  what 
is  now  Commercial  Square,  and  with  the  earth 
from  this  hill  to  raisp  the  land  on  the  south 
bank  of  the  river  and  so  create  new  building 
sites.  This  scheme  was  ultimately  carried  out, 
and  in  association  with  it  were  executed 
arrangements  for  the  expropriation  on  fair 
terms  of  all  who  had  built  with  the  Resident's 
permission  on  the  north  bank.  A  few  of  the 
buildings  on  this  side  were  allowed  to  remain 
and  were  subsequently  used  for  public  offices. 

While  the  levelling  operations  for  the  new 
settlement  were  proceeding  the  workmen  un- 
earthed near  the  mouth  of  the  river  a  flat  stone 
bearing  an  inscription  in  strange  characters.  Of 
the  finding  of  this  relic  and  its  subsequent  fate 
we  have  a  vivid  contemporary  description  in 
a  Malay  work  written  by  .■Vbdullah,  Raflles's  old 
assistant.  Abdullah  wrote  :  "  At  the  time  there 
was  found,  at  the  end  of  the  Point,  buried  in 
jungle,  a  smooth  square-sided  stone,  about 
6  feet  long,  covered  with  chiselled  characters. 
No  one  could  read  the  characters,  for  they  had 
been  exposed  to  the  action  of  the  sea-water 
for  God  knows  how  many  thousands  of  ye.trs. 
When  the  stone  was  discovered  people  of  every 
race  went  in  crowds  to  see  it.  The  Hindus 
said  the  writing  was  Hindu,  but  they  could 
not  read  it.  The  Chinese  said  it  was  Chinese. 
I  went  with  Sir  Stamford  Raflles  and  the  Rev. 
M.  Thompson  and  others,  and  to  me  it  seemed 
that  the  letters  resembled  Arabic  letters,  but  I 
could  not  decipher  them  owing  to  the  ages 
during  which  the  stone  had  been  subject  to  the 
rise  and  fall  of  the  tides. 

"  Numbers  of  clever  people  came  to  read  the 
inscription  ;  some  brought  soft  dough  and  took 
an  impi-ession,  while  others  brought  black  ink 
and  smeared  it  over  the  stone  in  order  to  make 
the  writing  plain.  Every  one  exhausted  his 
ingenuity  in  attempts  to  ascertain  the  nature 
of  the  characters  and  the  language,  but  all 
without  success.  So  the  stone  remained 
where  it  lay,  with  the  tide  washing  it  every 
day.  Then  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  decided  that 
the  writing  was  in  the  Hindu  character, 
because  the  Hindus  were  the  first  people  to 
come  to  these  parts,  to  Java,  Bali,  and  Siam, 
whose  people  are  all  descended  from  Hindus. 



But  not  a  man  in  Singapore  could  say  what 
was  the  meaning  of  the  words  cut  on  that 
stone ;  therefore  only  God  knows.  And  the 
stone  remained  there  till  Mr.  Bonham  became 
Governor  of  Singapore,  Pinang,  and  Malacca 
(1837-43).  At  that  time  Mr.  Coleman  was  the 
Government  engineer  at  Singapore,  and  he, 
sad  to  tell,  broke  the  stone.  In  my  opinion 
it  was  a  very  improper  thing  to  do,  but  per- 
haps it  was  due  to  his  stupidity  and  ignorance 
and  because  he  could  not  understand  the 
writing  that  he  destroyed  the  stone.  It  never 
occurred  to  him  that  there  might  be  others 
more  clever  than  himself  who  could  unravel 
the  secret  ;  for  I  have  heard  that  there  are 
those  in  England  who  are  able  to  read  such 
a  riddle  as  this  with  ease,  whatever  the  lan- 
guage, whoever  the  people  who  wrote  it.  As 
the  Malays  say,  '  What  you  can't  mend,  don't 
destroy.' " 

It  is  difficult  to  find  a  more  adequate  char- 
acterisation of  this  piece  of  silly  vandalism  on 
the  part  of  Mr.  Coleman  than  that  contained 
in  Abdullah's  scathing  criticism.  The  motives 
which  prompted  the  act  are  difficult  to  con- 
ceive, but  whatever  they  were  the  secret  of 
the  stone  was  effectually  concealed  by  the 
destructive  operations.  Some  fragments  col- 
lected subsequently  found  their  way  to  Calcutta, 
to  supply  the  savants  there  with  a  knotty 
problem  to  puzzle  over,  and  from  time  to 
time  discussion  has  arisen  in  Singapore  itself 
over  the  historic  debris.  We  are  still,  how- 
ever, as  far  as  ever  from  discovering  the  key 
to  the  mystery.  Perhaps  the  most  plausible 
explanation  is  that  of  Lieutenant  Begbie,  who 
writing  in  1834,  suggested  that  the  stone  was 
identical  with  a  tablet  or  tablets  mentioned  in 
the  "  Malay  Annals  "  and  relating  to  a  conflict 
between  a  Singapuri  Samson  named  Badang 
and  a  rival  from  the  Coromandel  coast. 
Badang  won  great  fame  as  the  victor  in  the 
fight,  and  when  he  died  he  was  buried  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Singapore  river,  and  the  Coro- 
mandel King  sent  two  stones  to  place  over 
his  grave.  The  stone  unearthed  at  the  build- 
ing of  the  town,  it  was  argued  by  Lieutenant 
Begbie,  must  have  been  one  of  these.  The 
controversy  may  be  left  at  this  point.  It  is 
really  now  only  of  interest  to  illustrate  the 
paucity  of  the  antiquarian  remains  of  which 
Singapore  can  boast. 

Farquhar's  share  in  the  building  of  the  new 
settlement  was  a  considerable  one.  He  cleared 
the  jungle  and  drove  roads  in  all  directions, 
always  with  a  keen  eye  to  future  possibilities. 
Perhaps  his  finest  conception  was  the  esplanade, 
which  is  still  one  of  the  most  attractive  features 
of  the  city.  While  the  work  of  laying  out  the 
new  port  was  proceeding,  merchants,  both 
European  and  native,  attracted  by  the  news 
of  the  occupation  and  the  promise  it  brought 
of  future  prosperity,  were  flocking  to  the  spot, 
eager  to  have  a  share  in  the  trade  which  they 
rightly  calculated  was  bound  to  grow  up  under 
the  protecting  shadow  of  the  British  flag. 
Farquhar  may  be  left  to  tell  the  story  of  this 
early  "  rush."  In  a  letter  to  Raffles,  dated 
March  21,  1820,  he  wrote  :  "  Nothing  can 
possibly  exceed  the  rising  trade  and  general 
prosperity  of  this  infant  colony  ;  indeed,  to 
look  at  our  harbour  just  now,  where  upwards 
of  twenty  junks,  three  of  which  are  from  China 

and  two  from  Cochin  China,  the  rest  from 
Siam,  and  other  vessels  are  at  anchor,  besides 
ships,  brigs,  prows,  &c.,  &c.,  a  person  would 
naturally  exclaim.  Surely  this  cannot  be  an 
establishment  of  only  twenty  months'  stand- 
ing !  One  of  the  principal  Chinese  merchants 
has  told  me  in  the  course  of  conversation  that 
he  would  be  very  glad  to  give  500,000  dollars 
for  the  revenue  of  Singapore  five  years  hence  ; 
merchants  of  all  descriptions  are  collecting 
here  so  fast  that  nothing  is  heard  in  the  shape 
of  complaint  but  the  want  of  more  ground 
to  build  on.  The  swampy  ground  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  river  is  now  almost 
covered  with  Chinese  houses,  and  the  Bugis 
village  is  become  an  extensive  town.  Settle- 
ments are  forming  up  the  different  rivers, 
and  from  the  public  roads  which  have  been 
made  the  communication  to  various  parts 
of  the  country  is  now  quite  open  and  con- 

In  July  of  the  same  year  Raffles  himself,  in  a 
letter  to  a  friend  in  England,  describes  in  glow- 
ing terms  the  progress  of  the  work  of  develop- 
ment. "My  settlement,"  he  wrote,  "  continues 
to  thrive  most  wonderfully  ;  it  is  all  and  every- 
thing I  could  wish,  and  if  no  untimely  fate 
awaits  it,  it  promises  to  become  the  emporium 
and  pride  of  the  East."  Happily  no  untimely 
fate  did  overtake  it.  Despite  the  jealousy  and 
obstructiveness  of  Pinang,  notwithstanding 
the  indifference  and  neglect  of  the  home 
authorities  and  apprehensions  born  of  "  a 
craven  fear  of  greatness,"  the  progress  of  the 
port  was  continuous.  Two  years  and  a  half 
after  the  occupation  we  find  Raffles  estimating 
that  the  exports  and  imports  of  Singapore  by 
native  boats  alone  exceeded  four  millions  of 
dollars  in  the  year,  and  that  during  the  whole 
period  of  the  brief  life  of  the  settlement  no 
fewer  than  2,889  vessels  had  entered  and 
cleared  from  the  port,  of  which  383  were 
owned  and  commanded  by  Europeans.  In 
1822  the  tonnage  had  risen  to  130,689  tons, 
and  the  total  value  of  the  trade  to  upwards  of 
eight  millions  of  dollars.  Two  years  later  the 
annual  trade  had  increased  in  value  to  upwards 
of  thirteen  millions  of  dollars.  It  would  be 
difficult  to  discover  in  the  whole  history  of 
British  colonisation,  fruitful  as  it  is  in  instances 
of  successful  development,  a  more  remarkable 
example  of  rapid  growth. 

No  small  share  of  the  brilliant  success  achieved 
in  the  founding  of  Singapore  was  unquestion- 
ably due  to  the  liberal  policy  Raffles  introduced 
from  the  outset.  He  foresaw  that  to  attempt 
to  build  up  the  prosperity  of  the  place  on  the 
exclusive  principles  of  the  Dutch,  or  even  on 
the  modified  system  of  restrictive  trade  obtain- 
ing at  our  own  ports,  would  be  to  foredoom  the 
settlement  to  failure.  The  commerce  of  the 
port,  to  obtain  any  degree  of  vigour,  he  under- 
stood, must  be  absolutely  unfettered.  Again 
and  again  he  insists  upon  this  point  in  his 
correspondence,  pleading  and  fighting  for  the 
principle  with  all  the  earnestness  of  ■  his 
strenuous  nature.  Free  the  trade  was  from 
the  beginning,  and  though  later  attempts  were 
made  to  tamper  with  the  system,  Singapore  has 
continued  to  this  day  in  the  enjoyment  of  the 
liberal  and  enlightened  constitution  with  which 
Raffles  endowed  it. 

Many    stupid    things    were     done     by    the 

authorities  in  connection  with  the  early  his- 
tory of  Singapore,  but  it  will  always  remain 
to  their  credit  that  they  entrusted  to  Raffles 
the  task  of  establishing  the  administrative 
machinery  there  on  a  permanent  footing. 
Ordered  from  Bencoolen  to  Singapore  in 
September,  1822,  Raffles,  with  a  light  heart 
and  heightened  expectations,  embarked  upon 
what  was  to  him  a  labour  of  love.  His  wide 
experience  in  Java  and  at  Bencoolen,  aided  by 
his  natural  ability,  enabled  him  without  diffi- 
culty to  devise  a  sound  working  constitution 
for  the  new  colony.  Recognising  that  the 
prosperity  of  the  settlement  depended  upon 
adequate  facilities  for  shipping,  he  caused  the 
harbour  and  the  adjacent  coasts  to  be  carefully 
surveyed  from  Diamond  Point  to  the  Karimun 
Islands.  The  sale  of  land  was  carefully  regu- 
lated, with  due  regard,  on  the  one  hand,  to 
Government  interests,  and  on  the  other  to  the 
development  of  trade.  For  the  better  safe- 
guarding of  rights  he  caused  a  land  registry 
to  be  established — a  step  which  proved  of 
immense  value  in  the  later  history  of  the 
colony.  A  code  of  regulations  designed  to 
suit  the  needs  of  a  mixed  community  of  the 
class  of  that  already  settled  in  the  town  was 
drawn  up,  and  Raffles  himself  sat  in  court  to 
enforce  them.  He  also  established  a  local 
magistracy  as  a  means  of  strengthening  the 
administration  of  the  law  and  creating  a  sense 
of  responsibility  in  the  communitj'.  As  in 
Bencoolen  he  had  interested  himself  in  the 
moral  well-being  of  those  entrusted  to  his 
charge,  so  here  he  gave  serious  consideration 
to  the  problem  of  training  the  youths  of  the 
settlement  to  be  good  citizens.  The  outcome 
of  his  deliberations  was  the  framing  of  a 
scheme  for  the  founding  of  an  institution  for 
the  study  of  Chinese  and  Malay  literature. 
Early  in  1822  the  project  assumed  a  practical 
shape  in  the  establishment  of  the  famous 
Singapore  Institute.  It  was  Raffles's  desire 
to  give  further  strength  to  the  cause  of  edu- 
cational progress  in  the  colony  by  the  transfer 
to  Singapore  of  the  Anglo-Chinese  College  at 
Malacca.  But  his  proposals  under  this  head 
were  thwarted  by  the  action  of  a  colleague 
and  the  idea  had  reluctantly  to  be  abandoned. 
By  the  beginning  of  June,  1823,  Raffles  had 
so  far  advanced  the  work  entrusted  to  him 
that  he  was  able  to  hand  over  the  charge  of 
the  settlement  to  Mr,  Crawfurd,  who  had  been 
appointed  to  administer  it.  Somewhat  earlier 
Raffles  is  revealed  writing  to  a  friend  contrasting 
the  bustle  and  prosperity  of  Singapore  with  the 
stagnation  and  costliness  of  his  old  charge. 
"  At  Bencoolen,"  he  wrote,  "  the  public  expenses 
are  more  in  one  month  than  they  are  at  Singa- 
pore in  twelve.  The  capital  turned  at  Bencoolen 
never  exceeds  400,000  dollars  in  a  year,  and 
nearly  the  whole  of  this  is  in  Company's  bills 
on  Bengal,  the  only  returns  that  can  be  made  ; 
at  Singapore  the  capital  turned  in  a  year  ex- 
ceeds eight  millions,  without  any  Government 
bills  or  civil  establishment  whatever."  ■  Further 
suggestive  facts  were  given  by  Raffles  in  a 
letter  he  wrote  to  the  Supreme  Government  on 
January  15,  1823.  In  this  he  stated  that  the 
average  annual  charge  for  the  settlement  for 
the  first  three  years  of  its  establishment  had 
not  exceeded  60,000  Spanish  dollars.  "  I  had 
■  "  Memoir  of  Sir  T.  S.  RafHes,"  p.  532. 



anticipated,"  he  proceeded,  "  tlic  satisfaction  of 
constructing  all  necessary  public  buildings  free 
of  expense  to  Government  and  of  delivering 
over  charge  of  the  settlement  at  the  end  of  the 
present  year  with  an  available  revenue  nearly 
equal  to  its  expenses,  and  it  is  extremely  morti- 
fying that  the  irregularities  admitted  by  the 
local  Resident  oblige  me  to  forego  this  ar- 
rangement." The  irregularities  alluded  to  in 
this  despatch  were  committed  by  a  local  official 
employed  in  connection  with  the  land  transfers. 
He  was  a  man  of  indifferent  character  who 
ought  never  to  have  been  appointed  to  the 
post,  and  Farquhar's  laxity  in  this  and  other 
respects  drew  upon  him  the  severe  censure  of 
Raffles.  The  relations  between  the  two  became 
exceedingly  strained  in  consequence.  Even- 
tually Farquhar  resigned,  and  his  resignation 
was  accepted,  Mr,  Crawfurd,  as  has  been  stated, 
being  appointed  as  his  successor.  If  the  course 
of  official  life  at  Singapore  in  these  days  did 
not  run  smoothly,  nothing  could  have  been 
more  harmonious  than  Raffles's  relations  with 
the  mercantile  community.  In  striking  contrast 
with  the  contemptuous  indifference  displayed 
by  the  Indian  bureaucrats  who  ruled  in  the 
Straits  towards  the  civil  community,  Raffles 
deferred  to  it  in  every  way  compatible  with 
the  Government  interests.  The  principles 
which  guided  him  in  this  particular  are  lucidly 
set  forth  in  a  despatch  he  wrote  to  the  Supreme 
Government,  dated  March  29,  1823.  "I  am 
satisfied,"  Raffles  wrote,  "  that  nothing  has 
tended  more  to  the  discomfort  and  constant 
jarrings  which  have  hitherto  occurred  in  our 
remote  settlements  than  the  policy  which  has 
dictated  the  exclusion  of  the  European  mer- 
chants from  all  share,  much  less  credit,  in  the 
domestic  regulation  of  the  settlement  of  which 
they  are  frequently  its  most  important  mem- 
bers." These  liberal  sentiments  supply  the  key 
to  Raffles's  remarkable  success  as  an  adminis- 
trator, and  they  help  to  an  understanding  of  the 
affectionate  warmth  with  which  the  European 
community  took  -leave  of  him  in  the  farewell 
address  they  presented  on  his  departure  from 
the  settlement. 

"  To  your  unwearied  zeal,  your  vigilance, 
and  your  comprehensive  views,"  the  memorial- 
ists said,  "we  owe  at  once  the  foundation  and 
the  maintenance  of  a  settlement  unparalleled 
for  the  liberality  of  the  principles  on  which  it 
has  been  established  ;  principles  the  operation 
of  which  has  converted,  in  a  period  short 
beyond  all  example,  a  haunt  of  pirates  into 
the  abode  of  enterprise,  security,  and  opulence. 
While  we  acknowledge  our  peculiar  obligations 
to  you,  we  reflect  at  the  same  time  with  pride 
and  satisfaction  upon  the  active  and  beneficent 
means  by  which  you  have  promoted  and  patron- 
ised the  diffusion  of  intellectual  and  m.oral  im- 
provement, and  we  anticipate  with  confidence 
their  happy  influence  in  advancing  the  cause  of 
humanity  and  civilisation." 

In  the  course  of  his  reply  in  acknowledgment 
of  the  address  Raffles  wrote  :  "  It  has  happily 
been  consistent  with  the  poHcyof  Great  Britain 
and  accordant  with  the  principles  of  the  East 
India  Company  that  Singapore  should  be  estab- 
lished as  a  free  port,  that  no  sinister,  no  sordid 
view,  no  considerations  either  of  political  im- 
portance or  pecuniary  advantage,  should  inter- 
fere with  the  broad  and  liberal  principles  on 

which  the  British  interests  have  been  estab- 
lished. Monopoly  and  exclusive  privileges, 
against  which  public  opinion  has  long  raised 
its  voice,  are  here  unknown,  and  while  the  free 
port  of  Singapore  is  allowed  to  continue  and 
prosper,  as  it  hitherto  has  done,  the  policy 
and  liberality  of  the  East  India  Companv,  by 
whom  the  settlement  was  founded  and  under 
whose  protection  and  control  it  is  still  adminis- 
tered, can  never  be  disputed.     That  Singapore 

settlement,  I  beg  that  you  will  accept  my  most 
sincere  thanks.  I  know  the  feeling  which 
dictated  it,  I  acknowledge  the  delicacy  with 
which  it  has  been  conveyed,  and  I  prize  most 
highly  the  gratifying  terms  to  me  personally  in 
which  it  has  been  expressed." 

An  aff'ecting  description  of  Raffles's  departure 
from  Singapore  has  been  left  in  the  Malay  work 
already  referred  to  by  his  ser\ant  and  friend, 
Abdullah.    After  mentioning  various  gifts  that 

( Photographed  specially  for  this  work  by  permission  of  the  Dean  of  Westminster.) 

will  long  and  always  remain  a  free  port,  and 
that  no  taxes  on  trade  or  industry  will  be  estab- 
lished to  check  its  future  rise  and  prosperity, 
I  can  have  no  doubt.  I  am  justified  in  saying 
this  much,  on  the  authority  of  the  Supreme 
Government  of  India,  and  on  the  authority  of 
those  who  are  most  likely  to  have  weight  in 
the  councils  of  our  nation  at  home.  For  the 
public  and  peculiar  mark  of  respect  which  you, 
gentlemen,  ha\'e  been  desirous  of  showing  me 
on   the   occasion   of    my  departure   from   the 

were  made  to  him  by  the  administrator  and 
letters  recommending  him  to  officials  as  one  to 
be  trusted,  Abdullah  writes  :  "I  could  not  speak, 
but  I  took  the  papers,  while  the  tears  streamed 
down  my  face  without  my  being  conscious  of 
it.  That  day  to  part  with  Sir  Stamford  Raflles 
was  to  me  as  the  death  of  my  parents.  My 
regret  was  not  because  of  the  benefits  I  had 
received  or  because  of  his  greatness  or  attrac- 
tions ;  but  because  of  his  character  and  attain- 
ments, because  every  word  he  said  was  sincere 

B  "* 




(The  supposed  position  of  tiie  grave  is  tlie  spot  under  tlie  centre  window  in  tlie  middle  foreground.) 

and  reliable,  because  he  never  exalted  himself 
or  depreciated  others.  All  these  things  have 
remained  in  my  heart  till  now,  and  though  I 
have  seen  many  distinguished  men,  many  who 
were  clever,  who  were  rich,  who  were  hand- 
some— for  character,  for  the  power  of  winning 
affection,  and  for  talent  and  understanding,  I 
have  never  seen  the  equal  of  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles  ;  though  I  die  and  live  again,  I  shall 
never  find  his  peer.  .  .  .  When  I  had  received 
the  two  letters.  Sir  Stamford  and  his  lady  went 
down  to  the  sea,  accompanied  by  an  immense 
crowd  of  people  of  every  nationality.  I  also 
went  with  them,  and  when  they  reached  the 
ship  they  went  on  board,  A  moment  later 
preparations  were  made  to  heave  up  the 
anchor,  and  Sir  Stamford  sent  for  me.  I  went 
into  his  cabin,  and  saw  that  he  was  wiping  the 
tears  from  his  eyes.  He  said,  '  Go  home  ;  you 
must  not  grieve,  for,  as  I  live,  we  shall  meet 
again.'  Then  Lady  Raffles  came  in  and  gave 
me  twenty-five  dollars,  saying,  '  This  is  for 
your  children  in  Malacca.'  When  I  heard  that 
m\"  heart  was  more  than  ever  fired  by  the 
thought  of  their  kindness.  I  thanked  her  and 
shook  them  both  by  the  htind  ;  but  I  could  not 
restrain  my  tears,  so  I  hurriedly  got  into  my 
boat  and-  pulled  away.  When  we  had  gone 
some  distance  I  looked  back  and  saw  Sir 
Stamford  gazing  from  the  port.  I  saluted 
him  and  he  waved  his  hand.  After  some 
moments  the  sails  filled  and  the  ship  moved 
slowly  away." 

This  was  Raffles's  last  view  of  Singapore. 
He  proceeded  to  his  charge  at  Bencoolen  to 
resume  the  old  life  of  masterly  inactivity.  But 
he  fretted  under  the  chains  which  bound  him 
to  the  Far  East,  and  longed  to  be  once  more 
in  the  Old  Country  to  spend  what  he  felt  would 
be  the   short  remaining  period    of    his    life. 

Broken  in  health,  weary  in  spirit,  but  with 
eager  anticipations  of  a  pleasant  reunion  with 
old   friends,  he  with   Lady    Raffles   embarked 




(Tile  gigantic  parasitic  plant  of  Java  and  Sumatra  dis- 
covered by  Raffles.) 

on  February  2,  1824,  on  a  small  vessel  called  the 
Fame  for  England.  Before  the  ship  had  barely 
got  out  of  sight  of  the  port  a  fire  broke  out  in 

the  spirit  store  below  Raffles's  cabin,  and  within 
a  short  period  the  entire  vessel  was  a  mass  of 
flames.  With  difficulty  the  passengers  and  crew 
escaped  in  boats,  but  all  Raffles's  manuscripts 
and  his  natural  history  collections,  the  product 
of  many  years'  assiduous  labour,  perished.  The 
loss  was  from  many  points  of  view  irreparable, 
and,  coming  as  it  did  after  a  succession  of 
misfortunes,  told  on  Raffles's  already  enfeebled 
constitution.  But  outwardly  he  accepted  the 
calamity  with  philosophic  calm,  and  prepared 
at  once  to  make  fresh  arrangements  for  the 
return  voyage.  Another  ship  was  fortunately 
available,  and  in  this  he  and  his  wife  made  the 
voyage  to  England.  There  he  met  with  every 
kindness  from  influential  friends,  and  he  settled 
down  to  a  country  life  at  Highwood  Hill, 
Middlesex,  having  as  his  neighbour  William 
Wilberforce,  between  whom  and  him  there 
was  a  close  tie  of  interest  in  their  mutual 
horror  of  the  slave  trade.  Here  he  died,  after 
an  attack  of  apoplexy,  on  July  5,  1826,  and 
was  buried  in  Hendon  churchyard.  His  last 
days  were  clouded  with  troubles  arising  out 
of  claims  and  charges  made  against  him  by 
the  narrow-minded  oligarchy  of  Leadenhall 
Street,  who  dealt  with  Raffles  as  they  might 
have  done  with  a  refractory  servant  entitled 
to  no  consideration  at  their  hands.  It  has 
remained  for  a  later  generation  to  do  justice 
to  the  splendid  qualities  of  the  man  and  the 
enormous  services  he  rendered  to  the  Empire 
by  his  vigorous  and  far-seeing  statesmanship. 

Singapore's  progress  in  the  years  immedi- 
ately following  Raffles's  departure  was  steadily 
maintained  by  a  wise  adherence  to  the  princi- 
ples of  administration  which  he  had  laid  down. 
Mr.  Crawfurd,  his  successor  in  the  adminis- 
tration, was  a  man  of  broad  and  liberal  views, 
who  had  served  under  Raffles  in  Java,  and  was 
imbued  with  his  enlightened  sentiments  as  to 
the  conduct  of  the  administration  of  a  colony 
which  depended  for  its  success  upon  the 
unrestrained  operations  of  commerce.  In 
handing  over  charge  to  him  Raffles  had 
provided  him  with  written  instructions  empha- 
sising the  importance  of  early  attention  "  to  the 
beauty,  regularity,  and  cleanliness  of  the  settle- 
ment," and  desiring  him  in  particular  to  see 
that  the  width  of  the  different  roads  and  streets 
was  fixed  by  authority,  and  "  as  much  attention 
paid  to  the  general  style  of  building  as  circum- 
stances admit."  These  directions  Crawfurd  kept 
well  in  mind  throughout  his  administration, 
with  the  result  that  the  town  gradually  assumed 

!n  mewory'of 

Sir  Thomas  Sta!v,forij  RAFhi^s. 

F.R.S.  U^.D.ETC, 

Statesman, Administrator  and  NatufvalisT: 

Founder  of  the  Colony  and  C!ty  of  Singapore.  January  z2\ 


Born  July  sj?  i78i.  Died  at  Highwood,  Middlesex,  July  5^4 


and  buried  near  this  Tablet. 

Erected  in  isa?  Br  Members  of  the  family. 




an  architectural  dignity  at  tliat  time  quite  un- 
Icnown  in  the  European  settlements  in  the 
East.  The  value  of  land  in  1824,  though  small 
in  comparison  with  the  price  now  realised  for 
property  in  the  business  quarter  of  Singapore, 
was  very  satisfactory,  having  regard  to  the 
brief  period  of  the  occupation  and  the  un- 
certainty of  the  political  situation.  B'or  plots 
with  a  So-feet  frontage  on  the  river  and  150 
feet  deep,  3,000  dollars  were  paid,  in  addition 
to  an  annual  quit-rent  of  38  dollars.  Resi- 
dential plots  with  an  area  of  1,200  square  yards 
realised  400  dollars,  in  addition  to  an  annual 
quit-rent  of  28  dollars." 

At  this  time  there  were  twelve  European 
fir-ms  of  standing  established  in  the  settlement 
in  addition  to  -  many  reputable  Chinese  and 
Malay  traders.  Such  was  the  growth  of  the 
commerce  of  the  place  that  Crawfurd  was 
impelled  on  August  23,  1824,  to  address  a  long 
despatch  to  the  Supreme  Government  pleading 
for  the  establishment  of  a  judicial  department 
to  deal  with  the  many  and  complicated  legal 
questions  that  were  constantly  arising.  The 
charter  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island,  he  thought, 
might  be  taken  as  a  safe  precedent,  but  he 
respectfully  suggested  that  the  judicial  authority 
should  be  separate  and  distinct  from  the  execu- 
tive, "as  the  surest  means  of  rendering  it 
independent  and  respectable."  It  took  the 
Calcutta  authorities  a  considerable  time  to 
digest  this  question,  but  in  the  long  run 
Crawfurd's  recommendations  were  adopted. 
On  March  6,  1827,  an  official  notification  was 
issued  to  the  effect  that  a  Court  of  Judicature 
would  be  opened  in  Singapore,  and  that  as  a 
consequence  the  Resident's  Court  would  be 
closed.  The  establishment  of  the  judicial 
system  followed  upon  the  definitive  occupation 
of  the  island,  under  the  terms  of  the  diplomatic 
understanding  arrived  at  in  London  on  March 
17,  1824,  between  the  British  and  the  Dutch 
Governments.  Under  the  agreement  the  Dutch 
formally  recognised  the  British  right  to  the 
settlement,  and  Crawfurd  was  instructed  to 
give  the  fullest  effect  to  it  by  completing  a  final 
treaty  with  the  Sultan  and  the  Temenggong. 
With  some  difficulty  the  compact  was  made  on 
August  2,  1824.  By  its  provisions  the  island  of 
Singapore  was  ceded  absolutely  to  the  British 
Government,  together  with  the  sovereignty  of 
the  adjacent  seas,  straits,  and  islets  to  the  limit 
of  ten  geographical  miles  from  the  Singapore 
coasts,  and,  acting  on  instructions,  Crawfurd, 
on  August  3, .  1824,  embarked  in  the  ship 
Malabar  on  a  voyage  round  the  island,  with 
the  object  of  notifying  to  all  and  sundry  that 
the  British  really  had  come  to  stay. 

Fullerton,  a  Madras  civilian,  was  sent  out 
as  Governor,  with  Pinang  as  the  seat  of 
government.  Meantime,  Singapore  had  felt 
itself  important  enough  to  support  a  newspaper. 
This  organ,  the  Singapore  Chronicle  and  Com- 
mercial Advertiser,  was  a  tiny  sheet  of  four 
quarto  pages,  badly  printed  on  rough  paper, 
but  answering,  it  may  be  supposed,  all  the  needs 
of  the  infant  settlement.  Mr.  C.  B.  Buckley,  in 
his  erudite  "  Anecdotal  History  of  Old  Times 
in  Singapore,"  in  alluding  to  this  journal,  states 
that  in   1884  it  was  not  possible   to  find   any 

are  missing,  as  they  must  have  contained  much 
that  was  of  interest.  Mr.  Crawfurd  seems  to 
have  been  a  frequent  contributor  to  the 
columns,  and  he  was  a  writer,  of  no  mean 
hterary  skill,  as  his  official  despatches  and  his 
later  contributions  to  the  Edinburgh  Review 
clearly  attest.  Still,  the  files,  even  in  their 
incomplete  condition,  are  highly  instructive 
and  illuminating  as  guides  to  the  life  of  the 
settlement  in  the  dawn  of  its  existence.  The 
first  fact  that  is  impressed  upon  the  reader  is 
the   censorship   which   was   then    maintained 



THkmsD&T,  Janswrlliiti,  1^^ 

ra^j  ... 

'■lA  Jiigl  . 

•No.  12. 

'  X  B  Y  hifornit'd  tbnt  all  fiirxofiK 
%oktin^  Lands,  on  the.  Inland  of 
Sin^;ip')rt\  under  OninW  itwiied  hy 
Cir  T.  S.  Rapflf,.;,  Lacut.  ^oyer- 
THoivfl'r  under  authority  of  Ijoca^-  : 
«m  Tickett<  received  front  th«  liitie 
|R<Aident  Mr.  Cmwfurd,  uudwlin 
%uve  coiuplied  with  the  cnnditiulM" 
"tof  the  wauifi,  are  roiiuiped  to  n^icn 
'^h(*^-'  Docnumntfl  -  into  th«  0(H<m 
■ef  the  t40d  SnrVBjror,  when  tMr! 
■will  to  flirtished  <vitU  frwUiiranlf', 
••nthofized   nnd  coufirinfiii  Jjy  tht.^' 

•  ij^gltt  Uunonihlc  thu  Oovampt;  0<)- 
-Kifcral  hi  Council. 

AU    I'freons   who     have  W«A^ 
in  fulfiilniK  the   temw  of  thi:ir  OH-p- 
'  giual  Contract   toelW  «nd  hui|<^ 

•  on  the   L«nd  so  .IwBtllwwl,  at*  to- 
quired   to  cnraplete  tb<uc  tngiii^ 

■  tntiita  oiiL  or  t>efore'*ho:  1st   of  Mayj 
new,    in    default   pf  which,  (.hs 

•  land*  offiurh  de»cril»tiou  will  W 
'  resiifloed  by.  and  re»ect  to,  the 
'  HqiiouWe  CorapoaJ;  aa  .  Proprio- 
'tirBof  the  Snd.  " 
*;•  It  it*  .furiher  to  be  lUi^erytood 
^Ihat  -ito  di«por»idi3n   of  l«audi»  V(\\\, 

te  futai«;  bo  made  by  th«  Bsci- 
dSttt  tisudcillw,  withoat  thttfmiic 
thm  Stthec^HbiiOrabh!  the  (Jover- 
iHir  ia  Otvnncitof  l"«uice,of  Wa|e« 
Inland)  iii^gflfiore- and  ^A\a/si^. 

By  Ordur  of  the  Hoo«rab»-tht 

Ooveroor  in  Council  of  l^i:illt*--of 

Waley  lahtod  Singiipore  aud  ^4^- 

locca.  .  < 


Smgapure.  'J.',4  Ju.-.uurj/  liiJU. 

iin\iouH  to  comihciobiutc! 
vict!9  Tt'h>ch.hc.hM  n 
to  infocm  u^^>irot)eai 
liih«1>i}»hK^Sil&(ij{i6t«>'fli«i  hw; 
iitg  reaMVj.'<i'..pftrorw<ioii  W  epwit'h 
monutrfeul' in  Oim-rament-  HiM  tb 
hmMeinur^  » SubsCriptftA  liM<hlni 
Inwn  ^ipined  »t  tlif 'Hii>l»'«>f«(*: 
Updernipfed  «Hert  all  ctAHiMltt-i 

Fully  peceiVfd.  when  it  i*  kntJwn, 
what  ibp  aniouht  lof  «4»j«iH^tlt«(i!l 
i»  likrly  lo  hjC  tt'  (uVefijik'of  ikm 

cona^^«i^W«nll<«  ml 

Fos'IAndON  OK    ANTWliKK'^'j 
Tuland  pawnxPrt  int^  BrtOM" 

rriHK  fiMi  mfp  iinn- 

1  V.l  l.ESy  A.  I.Capl.  Wii. 
Va-ikihw*.  (iotomander,  hn»  near-, 
Iv  I  he  »li"l<jof  her  rarRO  rnifnuod 
tiWt  wilt  hM_^  thi"  ahouttho  t-'^lll 
proximo.  'i'lit»  IlerouIcM  i^  a  poop 
^bi|», .Carrie^  q.f*mxeon  and  Iuih  ex- 
^i'liir.fmBlii  or  pa»'«ietf  apply  hi  ' 
1      ;Moaa»x»  lliirti)  'ft  Co. 

;.,.«  j.\i  lilili. 

TalJKSDAr  J*N.  I8iu    ^^V- 

Py   tlie    tVuMW    >'oM»'ft  JCHptoili 

CriLy,'w.|in-va  ret'eitMl  idviciHi  iroili 

t  ,111' I. ii  (lowit  to  till"  ^;rt«jtf  dtujOMry 

wliicu  lsu>hle  lis  10  si\o  tile  loUpvv-. 

.•..._<»-  -,   ...    ,  ^   ...,1/  ..iiViij 


ing  Tiew  of  tto  deliTery  of  opiura 
itM^f^Hbv.nVWtn  ol  Uecemlwr  »n4- 
4hA  4!l»olf  i»n  hwi(l  on  the  1»[  of  tha 

p«««;no,a^,,  ^,;,^;„^ 

i      ..   i   i.;;*'-!     ■;■.■'■■    '  ff     ■  .     »""  ; 

tu'  th<)''t»«»  Cornmiireinl  lUjjialw 
'r«Mli8n«il  that  ftlr.    Cro2iar  all* 

Xfi'^^aik,  of  H-if  D..(ci,;  a^  . 

^    w3^i)»ii,  been   nWltltrtal  lyeUfe 
crew  itid  *»  wwl  eiirrJ.*  Jfttog*. 

i</mo«ej  thiit'tW  C«^t»ht:h»*i 
irTOno  cat(m  Hi  oilwi',  "li;** 
~  iM  fonder;  wu  imowiMDlr 
,„^-,-  by  Wflil  IhsHUoihoi'  Mp 
iMui  nwo  took  pMl -iWih  «he.i«l^; 
'  ;  ^litl,  tUii  .fairitnt-se  rMiialaiiMr  m 
kfled  M*.  ^nfwetalwi  and 
,^  i  i^a «|i«l!l,*»  bh« Mn ataled, 
lBloS»olo4.  •I'lln  Saltiin  *f*h»  l>l  iM 
WiJ  he«n.'r«!<iuci!t<Nl  by  die  Commwt 

orW5witt».»o  K''*  ,*«  fS'  '"''•  *"*" 
to  MiWd6|>«^imoftli'Bni!.»<-r«-.«., 

on  tlii'  lat  of  January,  hud  ihu-liiiod 
eomplyiait  whIitSf  fDipiwitu'O  'i'ue 
CuvVVaor  of  M.iiiillu  tiMprea-wd  nn 
hileiitiot)  yf  ooDttiiiiitift  t.i  iii-a  f"-ry 
iiieuuil  iu  bis  power,  slwirtol'  lorve,  (pr 
llie  recovoW  of  Ijie'-  veMt'l. 

Onitlie  «iiliji'nl  ofauionumo"'  1" 
Sir  Stuiuliiol  .BalllM  "o  r.-I.T  ■•"■ 
readeri*  10  a  irotico  vfhu-U  .ii".  ■'< 
oliitrr.atill  •  leliiT  uji')"''  ""■  ■"';-■'•'" 
luro  af'A.  in  u  >ul..-v.tucol   L..lui.,ut. 

Wiihlii  111. -■  !•'•  .in«tw.,JlM;l,s 

Live    ..iniMl     IfOi    t."Ulii|),    i'-iii!; 

li.e  nral    Ol  ihe  -OfllOil.    ,A>  •  "i'  ■"'' 

■  ■  ,t-  ;    "" 



Early  Days— The  First  Newspaper. 

During  the  period  of  Crawfurd's  adminis- 
tration Singapore  was  under  the  control 
of  the  Supreme  Government  ;  but  in  1826 
the  settlement  was  incorporated  with  Pinang 
and    Malacca    in    one    Government,   and    Mr. 

I  Resident-General's  Report,  Journal  of  the  Indian 
Archipelago,  ix.  468. 

copy  of  the  paper  before  1831,  and  "  there  is  not 
probably  one  in  existence."  Mr.  Buckley, 
happily  for  the  historian  of  Singapore,  is 
mistaken.  At  the  India  Office  there  is  preserved 
a  practically  complete  file  of  the  paper,  com- 
mencing with  the  seventy-third  number, 
published  on  January.  4,  1827.  From  inscrip- 
tions on  the  papers  it  appears  that  copies  were 
regularly  forwarded  to  Leadenhall  Street  for 
the  information  of  the  Court  of  Directors,  and 
were  bound  up  and  kept  for  reference  among 
the  archives  of  the  Secret  Committee.  It  is 
unfortunate  that  the  three  earliest  years'  files 

over  the  press  in  these  settlements  as  in  other 
territories  under  the  administration  of  the  East 
India  Company.  In  the  second  number  of  the 
surviving  copies  of  the  journal  we  are  con- 
fronted with  this  letter  : 

"  Sir,— By  desire  of  the  Hon.  Governor  in 
Council  I  beg  to  forward  for  your  guidance  the 
enclosed  rules  applicable  to  the  editors  of 
newspapers  in  India  and  to  intimate  to  you 
that  the  permission  of  Government  for  the 
publication  of  the  Singapore  Chronicle  and 
Contiucrcial  Advertiser  is  granted  to  you  with 



the  clear  understanding  that  you  strictly  adhere 
to  these  regulations. 

"As  you  will  now  refrain  from  publishing 
anything  in  your  paper  which  will  involve  an 
infringement  of  these  rules  it  will  no  longer  be 
necessary  for  you  to  submit  for  approval  the 
proof  sheet  of  each  number  of  the  Chronicle 
previous  to  its  publication. 
"  I  am,  Sir, 

"  Your  obedient  servant, 
"JoHx  Prince, 
"Resident  Councillor. 
"Singapore,  Feb.  20,  1827." 

The  "  Hon.  Governor  in  Council "  of  this 
communication  was,  of  course,  Mr.  Fullerton. 
This  gentleman  came  from  India  filled  with 
the  characteristic  hatred  of  the  Anglo-Indian 
official  of  a  free  press.  The  smallest  criticism 
of  official  action  he  resented  as  an  insult ;  a 
slighting  reference  to  himself  personally  he 
regarded  as  lese  majcstc.  Apparently  he  had 
expected  that  his  edict  would  be  received  with 
submissive  respect  by  those  whom  it  concerned. 
But  he  had  reckoned  without  the  spirit  of 
independence  which  characterised  the  budding 
journalism  of  the  Straits.  The  editor  of  the 
Chronicle,  in  publishing  the  Resident  Coun- 
cillor's letter,  accompanied  it  with  this 
comment  : 

"  We  cannot  err  in  saying  that  we  receive 
these  regulations  with  all  the  deference  which 
an  intimation  of  the  wishes  of  the  Government 
ought  to  command.  They  can  form,  however, 
but  a  feeble  barrier  against  '  offensive  remarks  ' 
whilst  there  is  a  press  in  England  over  which 
the  sic  volo,  sic  jabeo  of  Indian  authority  can 
have  no  control.  The  rulers  of  India  might  as 
well  attempt,  like  a  celebrated  despot  of  old,  to 
enchain  the  waves  as  to  place  restrictions  upon 
the  press  of  England,  and  whilst  that  is  the 
case  their  measures  will  be  unsparingly  cen- 
sured whenever  they  shall  deserve  it,  and  the 
remarks  issuing  from  that  source,  no  matter 
how  contraband,  will  find  their  way  round  the 
Cape,  and  will  be  here  read  by  all  those,  to  a 
man,  who  would  have  read  them  had  they 
been  printed  originally  on  the  spot.  When 
Ihis  is  so  very  plain,  it  is  really  no  easy  matter 
for  the  governed  to  discover  the  object  of  such 
regulations,  unless,  indeed,  it  be  to  prevent  the 
evil  effect  which  the  remarks  of  wicked  editors 
might  be  expected  to  produce  upon  the  '  reading 
public '  among  that  lettered,  and  to  the  in- 
fluence of  the  press  most  susceptible  people, 
the  Malays." 

This  was  bad  enough  in  the  eyes  of  the 
autocrat  of  Pinang,  but  there  was  worse  to 
follow.  On  February  15,  1827,  the  editor,  in 
referring  to  the  suspension  of  a  Calcutta 
editor  for  criticisms  of  official  action  in  the 
Burmese  War,  remarked  sarcastically  that 
"  however  culpable  the  editor  may  have  been 
in  other  respects,  he  has  not  perpetrated  in  his 
remarks  the  sin  of  novelty."  Mr.  Fullerton 
was  furious  at  the  audacity  of  the  Singapore 
scribe,  and  caused  to  be  transmitted  to  him 
what  the  Chronicle  in  its  issue  of  March  29th 
described  as  "a  very  severe  secretarial  re- 
primand." He  was  still  not  intimidated, 
as  is  shown  by  the  pointed  announcement  in 
the  same  number  of  the  issue  in  Bengal  of  "  a 
very  ably  conducted  paper  "  under  the  name  of 

the  Calcutta  Gazette,  with  the  motto,  "  Freedom 
which  came  at  length,  though  slow  to  come." 
However,  the  official  toils  were  closing  around 
him.  Peremptory  orders  were  issued  from 
Pinang  for  the  muzzling  of  the  daring  jour- 
nalist. The  editor  seems  to  have  got  wind  of 
the  pleasant  intentions  of  the  Government,  and 
indulged  in  this  final  shriek  of  liberty  • 

"  Ghost  of  the  Censorship. 

"We  thought  that  the  censorship  had  been 
consigned  to  the  '  tomb  of  the  Capulets,'  that 
common  charnel-house  of  all  that  is  worthless. 
Either  we  were  mistaken,  however,  in  sup- 
posing it  thus  disposed  of,  or  its  ghost,  a  spirit 
of  unquiet  conscience,  continues  to  haunt  these 
settlements.  It  is  said  to  have  been  wandering 
to  and  fro,  and  to  have  arrived  lately  from 
Malacca  in  a  vessel  from  which  we  would  it 
had  been  exorcised  and  cast  into  the  sea. 

"  The  paper  is  going  to  the  press,  and  we 
have  but  brief  space  in  which  to  say  that  we 
have  this  moment  heard  that  it  is  currently  and 
on  strong  authority  reported  that  Government 
has  re-established  the  censorship  in  this  settle- 
ment. That  this  is  not  yet  the  case  we  know, 
having  received  no  official  intimation  to  that 
effect,  and  until  we  receive  this  'damning 
proof  we  will  not  believe  that  Government 
can  have  lapsed  into  a  measure  which  will 
reflect  on  them  such  unspeakable  discredit. 
We  have  heard  much  alleged  against  the 
present  Government  of  Pinang,  some  part  of 
which,  since  kings  themselves  are  no  longer 
deemed  impeccable,  may  be  just  but  we 

never  heard  our  rulers  deemed  so  weak,  so 
wavering,  so  infirm  of  purpose,  as  to  promul- 
gate a  set  of  admirable  regulations  to-day,  and 
presto  !  to  revoke  them  to-morrow,  restoring  a 
censorship  which  of  their  own  free  motion  and 
magnanimous  accord  they  had  just  withdrawn, 
for  what  reason  no  sane  person  will  be  able  to 
divine,  unless  it  should  chance  to  be  for  the 
very  simple  one  of  putting  it  on  again.  Should 
the  Government  have  been  guilty  of  an  im- 
becility such  as  report  assigns  them,  the  world 
(if  it  ever  hears  of  it)  will  very  naturally 
conclude  that  "the  removal  of  the  censorship 
was  a  mere  bait  for  applause  in  the  expectation 
that  Government  would  never  be  called  upon 
for  the  exercise  of  the  virtues  of  magnanimity 
and  forbearance,  and  that  editors  could  on  all 
occasions  shape  their  sentiments  and  the  ex- 
pression of  them  by  the  line  and  rule  of 
secretarial  propriety." 

The  "intelligent  anticipation"  displayed  by 
the  editor  in  this  clever  and  amusing  comment 
was  speedily  justified  by  facts.  On  the  morning 
following  the  publication  of  the  paper  in  which 
it  appears,  the  journalist  received  a  letter  from 
the  Government  at  Pinang  informing  him  that 
in  future  he  must  submit  a  proof  of  his  paper 
previous  to  publication  to  the  Resident  Coun- 
cillor. The  official  version  of  the  episode  is  to 
be  found  in  a  letter  from  Mr.  Fullerton  to  the 
Court  of  Directors,  dated  August  29,  1827.  In 
this  the  Governor  wrote  :  "  In  consequence  of 
some  objectionable  articles  in  the  Singapore 
Chronicle,  we  considered  it  necessary  to  estab- 
lish rules  similar  to  those  estabhshed  by  the 
Supreme  Government  in  1818.  This  order  was 
given  under  the  supposition  that  the  press  was 
perfectly  free,  but  it  appearing  that  the  censor- 

ship had  been  previously  imposed  and  that  the 
very  first  publication  subsequent  to  its  removal 
having  contained  matter  of  a  most  offensive 
nature,  we  were  under  the  necessity  of  re- 
imposing  the  censorship  and  censuring  the 
editor.  The  proof  sheet  of  each  paper  was 
also  directed  to  be  submitted  in  future  to  the 
Resident  Councillor,  which  was  assented  to  by 
Mr.  Loch." 

From  this  point  the  Singapore  Chronicle 
presents  the  spectacle  of  decorous  dulness 
which  might  be  looked  for  in  the  circum- 
stances. But  the  Old  Adam  peeps  out  occa- 
sionally, as  in  a  racy  comment  on  the  intimation 
of  a  Batavian  editor  that  he  intended  to  answer 
all  attacks  on  Dutch  policy  in  his  journal,  or 
in  the  rather  wicked  interpolation  of  rows  of 
asterisks  after  an  article  from  which  the 
stinging  tail  has  obviously  been  excised. 
Later,  Mr.  Loch  again  got  into  collision  with 
Pinang,  and  there  must  have  been  rejoicing  in 
official  altitudes  when,  on  March  26,  1829,  he 
intimated  that  he  was  retiring  from  the  editor- 
ship. The  new  editor  was  a  man  of  a  somewhat 
different  stamp,  judging  from  his  introductory 
article.  In  this  he  intimated  that  he  made  no 
pretensions  whatever  to  literai-y  or  scientific 
attainments.  "The  pursuits  to  which  from  a 
very  early  age  we  have  been  obliged  to  devote 
ourselves,"  he  wrote,  "have  precluded-  the 
possibility  of  our  giving  much  attention  to  the 
cultivation  of  letters,  so  that  our  readers  must 
not  expect  such  valuable  dissertations  on  the 
subjects  we  have  alluded  to  as  appeared  in 
the  first  and  second  volumes  of  this  journal." 
While  the  new  editor  was  thus  modest  about 
his  qualifications,  he  was  not  less  strong  in  his 
opposition  to  the  censorship  than  his  pre- 
decessor. Shortly  after  he  was  inducted  into 
the  editorial  chair  he  thus  inveighed  against 
the  apathy  of  the  general  public  on  the  subject : 
"An  individual  here  and  there  touched  with 
plebeianism  may  entertain  certain  unmannerly 
opinions  as  old-fashioned  as  the  Glorious  Revo- 
lution, but  Monsieur  notrc  frcre  may  depend 
upon  it  that  the  mass  of  the  public  are  not 
affected  by  this  leaven,  nor  can  be  spurred  into 
complaint  by  anything  short  of  a  stamp  regula- 
tion or  some  other  process  of  abstra<;tion,  the 
effects  of  which  become  more  speedily  tan- 
gible to  their  senses  than  the  evils  arising 
from  restriction  upon  the  freedom  of  publi- 

Harassed  by  official  autocrats  and  hampered 
by  mechanical  difficulties,  the  Singapore  jour- 
nalism of  early  days  left  a  good  deal  to  be 
desired.  Nevertheless,  in  these  "brief  and 
abstract  chronicles"  of  the  infant  settlement 
we  get  a  vivid  picture  of  Singapore  life  as  it 
was  at  that  period.  Sir  Stamford  Raffles's 
shadow  still  rested  over  the  community.  Xow 
we  read  an  account  of  his  death  with  what 
seems  a  very  inadequate  biography  culled 
from  "  a  morning  paper  "  at  home,  and  almost 
simultaneously  appears  an  account  of  a  move- 
ment for  raising  some  monument  to  his  honour. 
Later,  there  are  festive  gatherings,  at  which 
"  the  memory  of  Sir  Stamford  Raffles  "  is  dnink 
in  solemn  silence.  Meanwhile,  a  cutting  from 
a  London  paper  gives  us  a  glimpse  of  Colonel 
Farquhar  as  the  principal  guest  at  an  influen- 
tially  attended  banquet  in  the  city.  Local 
news  consists  mostly  of  records  of  the  arrival 



of  ships.  Occasionally  we  get  a  signilicant 
reminder  of  what  "  the  good  old  times  "  in  the 
Straits  were  like,  as,  for  example,  in  the 
announcement  of  the  arrival  of  a  junk  with  a 
thousand  Chinese  on  board  on  the  verge  of 
starvation  because  of  the  giving  out  of  supplies, 
or  in  the  information  brought  by  incoming 
boats  of  bloody  work  by  pirates  a  few  miles 
beyond  the  limits  of  the  port.  Or  again,  in  a 
report  (published  on  September  ii,  1828)  of  the 
arrival  of  the  Abercrombie  Robiiisoit,  an  East 
Indiaman  from  Bombay,  after  a  voyage  during 
which  twenty-seven  of  the  crew  were  carried 
off  by  cholera.  On  April  17,  1827,  there  is 
great  excitement  over  the  arrival  in  port  of  the 
first  steamship  ■  ever  seen  there — the  Dutch 
Government  vessel,  Vandcr  Capdlan.  The 
Malays  promptly  christen  her  the  Kapal  Asap, 
or  smoke  vessel,  and  at  a  loss  to  discover  by 
what  means  she  is  propelled,  fall  back  on  the 
comfortable  theory  that  her  motion  is  caused 
by  the  immediate  agency  of  the  evil  one. 
Socially,  life  appears  to  run  in  agreeable  lines. 
Now  the  handful  of  Europeans  who  compose 
the  local  society  are  foregathering  at  the 
annual  assembly  of  the  Raffles  Club,  at  which 
there  is  much  festivity,  though  the  customary 
dance  is  not  given,  out  of  respect  for  the 
memory  of  the  great  administrator  who  had 
just  passed  away.  At  another  time  there  is 
a  brilliant  entertainment  at  Government  House 
in  honour  of  the  King's  birthday,  with  an 
illumination  of  the  hill  which  evokes  the 
enthusiastic  admiration  of  the  reporter.  Some 
one  is  even  heroic  enough  to  raise  a  proposal 
for  the  construction  of  a  theatre,  while  there  is 
a  lively  polemic  on  the  evergreen  subject  of 
mixed  bathing. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  solid  information 
these  early  Singapore  papers  are  of  exceptional 
interest  and  value.  In  them  we  are  able  to 
trace  political  currents  which  eddied  about  the 
settlement  at  this  juncture,  threatening  at  times 
to  overwhelm  it.  One  characteristic  effusion 
of  the  period  is  an  editorial  comment  on  an 
announcement  conveyed  by  a  Pinang  cor- 
respondent that  the  Government  there  was 
framing  some  custom-house  regulations  for 
Singapore,  and  was  about  to  convene  a  meeting 
of  Pinang  jiierchants  for  the  purpose  of 
approving  them.  "  Offensive  remarks  levelled 
at  Councillors  are  prohibited,"  wrote  the  scribe 
in  sarcastic  allusion  to  the  press  regulations, 
"  otherwise,  though  not  disciples  of  Roche- 
foucauld, we  might  have  ventured  to  doubt 
whether  the  merchants  of  Penang  are  precisely 
the  most  impartial  advisers  that  Government 
could  have  selected  as  guides  in  a  course  of 
custom-house  legislation  for  the  port  of  Singa- 

"  It  is  to  be  hoped  the  merchants  of  Penang 
may  be  cautious  in  what  they  approve.  Trade 
may  be  as  effectually  injured  by  regulations  as 
by  customs-house  exactions,  and  every  new 
regulation  added  to  the  existing  heap  may  be 
looked  upon  as  an  evil.     Here  it  is  the  general 

I  "  On  the  17th  April  the  Dutch  steam  vessel  Vaiider 
Capellaii  arrived  here  from  Batavia,  having  made  the 
passage  from  the  latter  place  in  seven  liours.  She  is 
the  first  vessel  that  has  ever  been  propelled  by  steam 
in  these  Straits,  and  the  second  steam  vessel  em- 
ployed to  the  eastward  of  the  Cape,  the  Diana,  of 
Calcutta,  which  proved  of  much  service  in  the 
Burmese  War,  being  the  first."— Singapore  Chronicle, 
April  26,  1827. 

opinion  that  the  extent  of  the  trade  of  these 
ports  is  already  known  with  sufficient  accuracy 
for  every  wise  and  beneficent  purpose  ;  that 
perfect  exactness  cannot  be  attained,  and  if  it 
could,  would  be  useless  ;  but  that  if  the  Court 
of  Directors  shall,  notwithstanding,  with  the 
minuteness  of  retail  grocers,  persist  in  the 
pursuit  of  it  and  adopt  a,  system  of  petty  and 
vexatious  regulations  (the  case  is  a  supposed 
one),  it  will  be  attended  with  inconvenience  to 
the  merchants  and  detriment  to  the  trade  and 
prosperity  of  these  settlements."  ' 

These  spirited  words  arc  suggestive  of  the 
prevalent  local  feeling  at  the  time  as  to  the 
interference  of  Pinang.  Obviously  there  was 
deep  resentment  at  the  attitude  implied  in  the 
reported  statement  that  the  concerns  of  Singa- 
pore were  matters  which  Pinang  must  settle. 
Singapore  at  this  time  was  decidedly  "feeling 
its  feet,"  and  was  conscious  and  confident  of  its 
destiny.  A  Calcutta  paper  having  ventured 
upon  the  surmise  that  "  Singapore  is  a  bubble 
near  exploding,"  the  editor  promptly  took  up 
the  challenge  in  this  fashion  : 

'•  Men's  prediclions  are  often  an  index  to 
their  wishes.  Fortunately,  however,  the  pros- 
perity of  Singapore  is  fixed  on  too  firm  a 
foundation  to  be  shaken  by  an  artillery  of 
surmises.  Those  who  lift  up  their  voices  and 
prophesy  against  this  place  may,  therefore, 
depend  upon  it  they  labour  in  a  vain  vocation 
unless  they  can  at  the  same  time  render  a 
reason  for  the  faith  that  is  in  them  by  showing 
that  the  causes  which  have  produced  the  past 
prosperity  of  the  settlement  either  have  ceased 
to  operate  or  soon  will  do  so.  Till  this  is  done 
their  predictions  are  gratuitous  and  childish." 

Side  by  side  with  this  note  appeared  a  de- 
scription of  the  Singapore  of  that  day  written 
by  a  Calcutta  visitor.  It  was  intended,  it 
seemed,  as  a  refutation  of  the  bursting  bubble 
theory,  and  it  certainly  is  fairly  conclusive 
proof  of  its  absurdity.  "  Here,"  wrote  the 
visitor,  "there  is  more  of  an  English  port 
appearance  than  in  almost  any  place  I  have 
visited  in  India.  The  native  character  and 
peculiarities  seem  to  have  merged  more  into 
the  English  aspect  than  I  imagined  possible, 
and  I  certainly  think  Singapore  proves  more 
satisfactorily  than  any  place  in  our  possession 
that  it  is  possible  to  assimilate  the  Asiatic  and 
the  European  very  closely  in  the  pursuits  of 
commerce.  The  new  appearance  of  the  place 
is  also  very  pleasing  to  the  eye,  and  a  great 
relief  from  the  broken  down,  rotten,  and  decayed 
buildings  of  other  ports  in  the  peninsula.  The 
regularity  and  width  of  the  streets  give  Singa- 
pore a  cheerful  and  healthy  look,  and  the  plying 
of  boats  and  other  craft  in  its  river  enlivens  the 
scene  not  a  little.  At  present  here  are  no  fewer 
than  three  ships  of  large  burden  loading  for 
England.  The  vessels  from  all  parts  of  the 
archipelago  are  also  in  great  numbers  and 
great  variety.  At  Penang  and  Malacca  the 
godowns  of  a  merchant  scarcely  tell  you  what 
he  deals  in,  or  rather  proclaim  that  he  does 
nothing  from  the  little  bustle  that  prevails  in 
them  ;  here  you  stumble  at  every  step  over  the 
produce  of  China  and  the  Straits  in  active 
preparation  for  being  conveyed  to  all  parts  of 
the  world." 

These  shrewd  observations  speak  for  them- 

I  Ibid.,  March  15,  1827. 

selves,  but  if  additional  evidence  is  needed  it  is 
supplied  by  the  population  returns  of  the  period 
which  figure  in  the  columns  of  the  paper. 
Exclusive  of  the  military,  the  inhabitants  of 
Singapore  in  1826  numbered,  according  to 
official  computation,  10,307  males  and  3,443 
females.  The  details  of  the  enumeration  may 
be  given,  as  they  are  of  considerable  interest : 









Native  Christians     ... 


















Natives  of  Bengal     ... 



Natives   of   the    Coast 

of  Coromandel 










10,307        3,443 

The  points  of  interest  in  this  table  are  the 
smallness  of  the  European  population  and  the 
numerical  strength  of  the  Chinese  community. 
The  latter,  it  will  be  seen,  numbered  more  than 
half  the  entire  population  and  considerably 
exceeded  the  Malays.  The  circumstance  shows 
that  from  the  very  outset  of  Singapore's  career 
the  Chinese  played  a  leading  part  in  its  deve- 
lopment. Keen  traders  as  a  race,  they  recog- 
nised at  once  the  splendid  possibilities  of  the 
port  for  trade,  and  they  no  doubt  appreciated 
to  the  full  the  value  of  the  equal  laws  and 
opportunities  which  they  enjoyed  under  the 
liberal  constitution  with  which  Raffles  had 
endowed  the  settlement. 

Mr.  Fullerton,  besides  placing  shackles  on 
the  press,  distinguished  himself  by  a  raid  on 
"interlopers,"  as  all  who  had  not  the  requisite 
licence  of  the  East  India  Company  to  reside 
in  their  settlements  were  regarded.  Most 
writers  on  Singapore  history  have  represented 
his  action  in  this  particular  as  an  independent 
display  of  autocratic  zeal.  But  the  records 
clearly  show  that  he  was  acting  under  explicit 
instructions  from  the  Court  of  Directors  to  call 
upon  all  European  residents  in  the  settlement 
to  show  their  credentials.  The  circular  which 
Fullerton  issued  brought  to  light  that  there  were 
26  unlicensed  persons  in  the  settlement,  besides 
those  who  had  no  other  licence  than  that  of  the 
local  authority.  The  matter  was  referred  home 
for  consideration,  with  results  which  appear  in 
the  following  despatch  of  September  30,  1829  ; 

"  The  list  which  you  have  furnished  of 
Europeans  resident  at  this  last  settlement 
(Singapore)  includes  a  considerable  number 
of  persons  who  have  received  no  licence  from 
us.  We  approve  of  your  having  made  known 
to  each  of  these  individuals  his  liability  to 
removal  at  our  pleasure.  Under  the  peculiar 
circumstances  of  this  settlement  it  has  not  been 
our  practice  to  discourage  the  resort  of  Euro- 
peans thither  for  the  purpose  of  following  any 
creditable  occupation,  and  we  perceive  that  all 
those  who  have  recently  arrived  there  have 
obtained  respectable  employment.  We  there- 
fore shall  make  no  objection  to  their  con- 
tinuance at  the   settlement  while    they   fulfil 



what  you  are  to  consider  as  the  impHed  con- 
dition of  our  sufferance  in  all  such  cases,  that 
of  conducting  themselves  with  propriety."  ■ 

This  incident  made  Mr.  Fullerton  very  un- 
popular with  the  European  inhabitants,  and 
about  the  same  time  he  incurred  the  disfavour 
of  the  native  population  by  the  introduction  of 
drastic  land  regulations  based  on  the  Madras 
model.  The  necessity  for  some  action  seems 
to  have  been  urgent,  judging  from  the  tenor 
of  an  entry  in  the  Singapore  records  under  date 
August  29,  1827.  It  is  here  stated  that  during 
the  administration  of  Mr.  Crawfurd  great  laxity 

payment  at  the  rate  of  two  rupees  per  acre  of 
the  land  surveyed.  Up  to  September  18,  1829, 
the  ground  covered  included  4,909  acres  of 
Singapore,  1,038  of  St.  George's  in  Blakang 
Mati  Island,  and  215  of  Gage  Island.  It  was 
then  recommended  that  the  survey  should 
embrace  the  Bugis  town,  Rochar  river,  and 
Sandy  Point,  "  by  which  the  brick  kilns  and  all 
the  unoccupied  land  in  that  direction  will  be 
brought  into  the  survey,  as  well  as  all  the  forts 
connected  with  the  plan  of  defence."  The  pro- 
posals were  adopted,  and  the  survey  finally 
completed  by  Mr.  Coleman. 

demurred  to  this,  and  declined  to  make  any 
advance  without  direct  authority.  Thereupon 
the  Recorder  refused  to  proceed  to  Malacca 
and  Singapore.  Finding  him  obdurate,  the 
Governor  himself  went  to  discharge  the 
judicial  duties  in  those  ports.  Before  leaving 
he  made  a  call  for  certain  documents  from  the 
Court  of  Judicature,  and  received  from  Sir  J.  T. 
Claridge  a  flat  refusal  to  supply  them.  Not  to 
be  frustrated,  Mr.  Fullerton  sumrnoned  a  full 
court,  and  he  and  the  Resident  Councillor,  as 
the  majority,  carried  a  resolution  directing  the 
documents  to  be  supplied,  and  as  a  consequence 

MAP  OF  Tue 
l'(>-'-<  ■'■n    f;.-'')7RO.'V.S 

'-.--'A.'    .    j«i*->i 

MAP    OF    SINGAPORE    IN    1837. 

was  manifested  in  respect  of  the  grant  of  loca- 
tion tickets.  Those  outstanding  issued  by  Mr. 
Crawfurd  alone  (all  for  land  in  the  vicinity  of 
the  town)  amounted  to  within  14,000  acres  of 
the  whole  computed  area  of  the  island,  "  although 
but  a  very  inconsiderable  space  is  cleared,  and 
the  greater  part  of  the  island  is  still  an  imper- 
vious forest."  An  almost  necessary  outcome  of 
the  new  land  system  was  the  commencement 
of  a  topographical  survey  of  the  island.  The 
work  was  entrusted  to  Mr.  George  D.  Coleman^ 
the  gentleman  responsible  for  the  act  of  van- 
dalism narrated  in  the  previous  chapter.  Mr. 
Coleman  erred  on  this  occasion,  but  his  name 
will  always  be  linked  with  some  of  the  most 
useful  work  associated  with  the  building  of 
Singapore.  The  survey  was  undertaken  by 
Mr.  Coleman  independently  on  the  basis  of 
1  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  195. 


Introduction  of  the  Judicial  System — The 
Dawn  of  Municipal  Government. 

The  arbitrariness  shown  by  Mr.  Fullerton 
in  his  administrative  acts  was  extended  to 
his  relations  with  his  official  colleagues,  and 
brought  him  into  collision  more  than  once  with 
them.  The  most  violent  of  these  personal  con- 
troversies, and  in  its  effects  the  most  important, 
was  a  quarrel  with  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge,  the 
Recorder,  over  a  question  relating  to  the 
latter's  expenses  on  circuit.  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge 
contended  that  the  demand  made  upon  him 
under  the  new  charter  to-  hold  sessions  at 
Singapore  and  Malacca  entitled  him  to  special 
expenses,  and  that  these  should  be  paid  him 
before    he    went    on    circuit.     Mr.    Fullerton 

they  were  supplied.  Following  upon  these  in- 
cidents Sir  J.  T.  Claridge  paid  a  visit  to  Cal- 
cutta, with  the  object  of  consulting  his  judicial 
brethren  there  on  the  points  at  issue  in  his 
controversy  with  the  Governor.  Apparently 
the  advice  given  to  him  was  that  he  had  made 
a  mistake  in  declining  to  transact  his  judicial 
duties.  At  all  events,  on  returning  to  Pinang 
he  intimated  his  readiness  to  proceed  to 
Malacca  and  Singapore.  The  journey  was 
undertaken  in  due  course,  but  on  arriving  at 
Singapore  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge  cast  a  veritable 
bomb  into  Government  circles  by  a  declaration 
from  the  bench  that  the  Gaming  Farm,  from 
which  a  substantial  proportion  of  the  revenue 
of  the  settlement  was  derived,  was  illegal. 
Reluctantly  the  authorities  relinquished  the 
system,  which  had  proved  so  convenient  a 
means   of  filling  their  exchequer,  and   which 



they  were  prepared  to  defend  on  the  ground 
even  of  morality.  In  the  meantime  the  struggle 
between  the  two  functionaries  had  been  trans- 
ferred to  Leadenhall  Street,  and  from  thence 
came,  in  the  latter  part  of  1829,  an  order  for  Sir 
J.  T.  Claridge's  recall.  The  Recorder  was  at 
first  disposed  to  complete  the  judicial  work 
upon  which  he  was  engaged,  but  Mr.  Fullerton 
would  not  hear  of  his  remaining  in  office  a 
minute  longer,  and  he  eventually  embarked  for 
England  on  September  7,  1829,  much,  no  doubt, 
to  the  relief  of  his  official  associates  at  Pinang. 
On  arrival  home  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge  appealed  to 
the  Privy  Council  against  his  recall,  but  with- 
out avail.  The  Council,  while  holding  that  no 
imputation  rested  upon  his  capacity  or  integrity 
in  the  discharge  of  his  judicial  functions,  con- 
sidered that  his  conduct  had  been  such  as  to 
justify  his  dismissal.  The  effect  of  the  decision 
was  to  re-establish  the  court  under  the  old 
charter,  and  Sir  Benjamin  Malkin  was  sent 
out  as  Recorder.  He  assumed  his  duties  in  the 
Straits  in  1833. 

The  introduction  of  a  regular  judicial  system 
had  one  important  consequence  not  contem- 
plated probably  by  the  officialdom  of  the 
Straits  when  the  charter  was  given.  It 
opened  the  way  to  municipal  government. 
Early  in  1827  a  body  called  the  Committee 
of  Assessors  was  appointed  in  Pinang  to  super- 
vise the  cleansing,  watching,  and  keeping  in 
repair  of  the  streets  of  the  settlement,  and 
the  following  editorial  notice  in  the  Singapore 
Chronicle  of  April  26th  of  the  same  year 
appears  to  indicate  that  an  analogous  body 
was  set  up  in  Singapore  : 

"We  adverted  a  short  time  ago  to  the  im- 
provements carrying  on  and  contemplated  by 
the  Committee  of  Assessors,  and  we  hope  that 
the  kindness  of  our  friends  will  enable  us  in  a 
future  number  to  give  a  detailed  account  of 
them  all.  We  understand  that  the  Govern- 
ment, with  their  accustomed  liberality  wherever 
the  interests  of  the  island  are  concerned,  have 
not  only  warmly  sanctioned,  but  have  promised 
to  bear  half  the  expenses  of  the  projected  new 
roads  ;  and  we  hope  that  their  aid  will  be 
equally  extended  to  the  other  improvements 
which  are  projected." 

The  editor  went  on  to  suggest  the  holding  of 
a,  lottery  as  a  means  of  raising  funds.  This 
question  of  funds  was  a  difficulty  which  appa- 
rently sterilised  the  nascent  activities  of  the 
pioneer  municipal  body.  At  all  events  its 
existence  was  a  brief  one,  as  is  evident  from  a 
presentment  made  by  the  grand  jury  at  the 
quarter  sessions  in  February,  1829,  over  which 
Sir  J.  T.  Claridge  presided.  The  grand  jury 
requested  the  authorities  "to  take  into  con- 
sideration the  expediency  and  advantage  of 
appointing  a  committee  of  assessors,  chosen 
from  amongst  the  principal  inhabitants  of  the 
settlement,  for  the  purpose  of  carrying  into 
effect  without  delay  a  fair  and  equitable  assess- 
ment of  the  property  of  each  inhabitant  in 
houses,  land,  &c.,  for  the  maintenance  of  an 
efficient  night  police,  and  for  repairing  the 
roads,  bridges,  &c."  The  suggestion  called 
forth  the  following  observations  from  the 
Recorder ; 

"  As  to  that  part  of  your  presentment  which 
relates  to  roads  and  bridges  and  that  which 
relates  to  the  police,  I  must  refer  you  to  the 

printed  copies  of  the  charter  (page  46)  by 
which  the  court  is  authorised  and  empowered 
to  hold  a  general  and  quarter  sessions  of  the 
peace,  and  to  give  orders  touching  the  making, 
repairs,  and  cleansing  of  the  roads,  streets, 
bridges,  and  ferries,  and  for  the  removal  and 
abatement  of  public  nuisances,  and  for  such 
other  purposes  of  police,  and  for  the  appoint- 
ment of  peace  officers  and  the  trial  and  punish- 
ment of  misdemeanours,  and  doing  such  other 
acts  as  are  usually  done  by  justices  of  the  peace 
at  their  general  and  quarter  sessions  in  England 
as  nearly  as  circumstances  will  admit  and  shall 
require."  The  Recorder  then  stated  the  manner 
in  which  these  matters  were  conducted  in 
England,  and  concluded  by  observing  that 
"as  it  would  be  nugatory  to  empower  the 
court  of  quarter  sessions  to  give  orders  touch- 
ing the  several  matters  specified  unless  they 
have  also  the  means  of  carrying  such  orders 
into  effect,  I  think  the  court  of  quarter  sessions 
may  legally  make  a  rate  for  the  above  purpose." 

In  consequence  of  this  the  magistrates  con- 
vened a  meeting  of  the  principal  inhabitants  to 
discuss  the  matter.  At  this  gathering  they 
proposed  as  a  matter  of  courtesy  to  admit  a 
certain  number  of  merchants  to  act  with  them 
as  assessors,  but  at  the  same  time  gave  the 
meeting  to  understand  that  they  alone  pos- 
sessed the  power  to  enforce  the  payment  of 
the  assessments.  None  of  the  merchants, 
however,  would  consent  to  act.  They  declined 
on  the  ground  that  as  they  possessed  no  legal 
authority  to  act  they  could  exercise  no  efficient 
check.  They  intimated,  furthermore,  that  they 
had  complete  confidence  in  the  integrity  of  the 
present  bench.  Subsequently  the  magistrates 
issued  a  notification  that  a  rate  of  5  per  cent, 
would  be  made  on  the  rents  of  all  houses  in 
Singapore.  There  was  at  the  outset  some  dis- 
position on  the  part  of  the  officials  to  question 
the  legality  of  this  assessment,  but  in  the  end 
the  magistrates'  power  to  make  a  rate  was 
acknowledged  and  Singapore  entered  smoothly 
upon  its  municipal  life. 

Some  years  later  the  Committee  of  Assessors 
here  and  at  Malacca  and  Pinang  developed 
into  a  Municipal  Board,  constituted  under  an 
Act  of  the  Legislative  Council  of  India.  The 
authority  consisted  of  five  Commis,sioners,  two 
of  whom  were  nominated  by  the  Government 
and  three  elected  by  ratepayers  who  con- 
tributed 25  dollars  annually  of  assessed  taxes. 

Though  to  a  certain  extent  these  were  days 
of  progress  in  Singapore,  some  of  the  official 
records  read  strangely  at  the  present  time, 
when  Singapore  is  one  of  the  great  coaling 
stations  and  cable  centres  of  the  world.  Take 
the  following  entry  of  June  21,  1826,  as  an  ex- 
ample :  "  We  are  not  aware  of  any  other 
means  of  procuring  coal  at  the  Eastern  settle- 
ments excepting  that  of  making  purchases  from 
time  to  time  out  of  the  ships  from  Europe  and 
New  South  Wales.  Under  instructions  received 
from  the  Supreme  Government  we  made  a  pur- 
chase a  short  time  since  of  forty  tons  of  the  article 
from  the  last-mentioned  country  at  the  price  of 
14  Spanish  dollars  per  ton."  The  spectacle  of 
the  Singapore  Government  relying  upon  passing 
ships  for  their  supplies  of  coal  is  one  which  will 
strike  the  present-day  resident  in  the  Straits  as 
comic.  But  it  is  not,  perhaps,  so  amusing  as 
the  attitude  taken  up  by  the  Leadenhall  Street 

magnates  on  the  subject  of  telegraphy.  In  1827, 
the  Inspector-General  having  urged  the  ex- 
pediency of  establishing  telegraphic  communi- 
cation between  several  points  on  the  main 
island,  the  local  Government  directed  him  to 
submit  an  estimate  of  the  probable  cost  of 
three  telegraph  stations,  and  meantime  they 
authorised  the  appointment  of  two  Europeans 
as  signalmen  on  a  salary  of  Rs.  50  a  month. 
In  due  course  the  minute  relating  to  the  subject 
was  forwarded  home,  with  a  further  proposal 
for  the  erection  of  a  lighthouse.  The  Court  of 
Directors  appear  to  have  been  astounded  at  the 
audacity  of  the  telegraphic  proposal.  In  a  des- 
patch dated  June  17,  1829,  they  wrote  :  "  You 
will  probably  not  find  it  expedient  to  erect  at 
present  the  proposed  lighthouse  at  Singapore, 
and  we  positively  interdict  you  from  acting 
upon  the  projected  plan  for  telegraphic  com- 
munication. We  can  conceive  no  rational  use 
for  the  establishment  of  telegraphs  in  such  a 
situation  as  that  of  Singapore."  "  No  rational 
use  "  for  telegraphs  in  Singapore  !  How  those 
old  autocrats  of  the  East  India  Office  would 
rub  their  eyes  if  they  could  see  Singapore  as  it 
is  to-day — the  great  nerve  centre  from  which 
the  cable  sj'stem  of  the  Eastern  world  radiates  ! 
But  no  doubt  the  Court  of  Directors  acted 
according  to  the  best  of  their  judgment. 
Singapore  in  those  far-off  times  wanted  many 
things,  and  telegraphic  communication  might 
well  appear  an  unnecessary  extravagance 
beside  them.  For  example,  the  island  was 
so  defenceless  that  in  1827,  on  the  receipt  of 
a  false  rumour  that  war  had  been  declared 
between  Great  Britain  and  France  and  Spain, 
orders  had  to  be  given  for  the  renewal  of  the 
carriages  of  guns  at  the  temporary  battery 
erected  on  the  occupation  of  the  island  and  for 
"  the  clearing  of  the  Point  at  the  entrance  to 
the  creek  for  the  purpose  of  laying  a  platform 
battery."  About  the  same  time  we  find  the 
Resident  Councillor  urging  the  necessity  of 
erecting  public  buildings,  "  the  few  public 
buildings  now  at  Singapore  being  in  a  very 
dilapidated  state,  and  others  being  urgently 
required  to  be  built."  Meanwhile,  he  intimates 
that  he  has  "  engaged  anew  house,  nearly  com- 
pleted, for  a  court-house  and  Recorder's 
chambers  at  a  yearly  rental  of  6,000  dollars 
for  three  years,  it  being  the  only  house  in  the 
island  adapted  for  the  purpose."  Another 
passage  in  the  same  communication  states  that 
owing  to  the  "  very  improper  and  inconvenient 
situation  of  the  burial  ground  on  the  side  of 
Government  Hill"  the  Inspector-General  had 
selected  "  a  more  suitable  spot  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  town,  which  vi'e  have  directed  to  be 
walled  in." 

Sir  J.  T,  Claridge's  judicial  dictum  that 
"gambling  was  an  indictable  offence"  was  a 
source  of  considerable  embarrassment  to  the 
Government.  The  substantial  sum  derived  from 
the  farming  of  the  right  to  keep  licensed 
gaming-houses  could  not  be  readily  sacrificed. 
On  the  other  hand,  it  was  manifestly  impossible 
to  disregard  the  opinion  of  the  highest  judicial 
authority  in  the  settlements.  Acting  in  a  spirit 
of  indecision,  the  Government  reluctantly  sus- 
pended the  Gaming  Farm  system.  The  dis- 
organisation to  the  finance  which  resulted  from 
the  action  was  considerable,  and  with  the  de- 
parture of  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge  it  seems  to  have 



been  felt  that  his  opinion  might  be  disregarded. 
The  machinery  consequently  was  set  in  m.otion 
again  after  the  issue  of  a  minute  by  Mr.  Fuller- 
ton  affirming  the  legality  of  this  method  of 
raising  the  revenue.  The  effect  upon  the 
revenue  was  very  marked.  The  receipts 
advanced  from  Rs.  95,482.11.10  in  1829-30  to 
Rs.  177,880.15  in  the  year  1830-31. 

The  Singapore  administration  as  a  whole  at 
this  juncture  was  in  a  state  of  no  little  con- 
fusion, owing  to  changes  which  were  impending 
in  the  constitution  of  the  Straits.  In  1827  Lord 
William  Bentinck,  the  Governor-General,  had 
descended  upon  the  settlements  infused  with 
what  the  local  officialdom  regarded  as  an  un- 
holy zeal  for  economy.  On  arriving  at  Pinang 
he  professed  not  to  be  able  to  see  what  the 
island  was  like  for  the  number  of  cocked  hats  in 
the  way.  Forthwith  he  proceeded  to  cut  down 
the  extravagant  establishment  maintained 
there.  He  visited  Singapore,  and  his  sharp  eye 
detected  many  weak  points  in  the  adminis- 
trative armour.  The  official  shears  were  exer- 
cised in  various  directions,  and  retrenchment 
was  so  sternly  enforced  that  Mr.  Fullerton  felt 
himself  constrained  to  withdraw  the  official 
subsidies,  or,  as  tliey  preferred  to  regard  them, 
subscriptions,  from  the  local  press.  The  Malacca 
editor  kicked  against  the  pricks,  and  found 
himself  in  difficulties  in  consequence.  At 
Singapore  a  more  philosophical  view  was 
taken  of  the  Government  action.  It  was 
argued  that  if  Government  was  at  liberty  to 
withdraw  its  subscription  the  editor  was  free 

to  withhold  his  papers  and  close  his  columns 
to  Government  announcements.  Acting  on 
this  principle,  he  informed  the  authorities  that 
they  could   no  longer    be  supplied   with  the 

(From  an  engraving  in  tlie  British  Museum.) 

eleven  free  copies  of  the  journal  they  had  been 
in  the  habit  of  receiving.  The  officials  retorted 
with  a  more  rigorous  censorship.  And  so  the 
battle  was  waged  until  Mr.  Fullerton  finally 

shook  the  dust  of  the  Straits  from  his  feet  in  the 
middle  of  1830.  Before  this  period  arrived  a 
great  change  had  been  made  in  the  govern- 
ment of  Singapore.  As  a  result  of  Lord 
William  Bentinck's  visit  the  settlement,  in  com- 
mon with  Pinang  and  Malacca,  were  in  1830 
put  under  the  control  of  the  Government  of 
Bengal.  The  change  was  sanctioned  in  a 
despatch  of  the  Supreme  Government  dated 
May  25,  1830.  In  this  communication  the 
headquarters  of  the  new  administration  was 
fixed  at  Singapore,  with  Mr.  Fullerton  as 
"  Chief  Resident "  on  a  salary  of  Rs.  36,000. 
Under  him  were  a  First  Assistant,  with  a  salary 
of  Rs.  24,000,  and  a  Second  Assistant,  with 
Rs.  10,000.  The  chief  officials  at  Pinang  and 
Malacca  were  styled  Deputy-Residents,  and 
their  emoluments  were  fixed  at  Rs.  30,000  for 
the  former  and  Rs.  24,000  for  the  latter.  Two 
chaplains,  with  salaries  of  Rs.  9,600,  and  a. 
missionary,  with  Rs.  2,500,  were  part  of  the 

Mr.  Fullerton  remained  only  a  few  months  in 
chief  control  at  Singapore.  Before  he  handed 
over  control  to  his  successor,  Mr.  Ibbetson,  he 
penned  a  long  and  able  minute  on  the  trade  of 
the  three  settlements.  He  gave  the  following 
figures  as  representative  of  the  imports  and 
exports  for  the  official  year  1828-29  ■ 



...      1,76,40,969! 


-     i,58,25.997i 

This    paragraph    relative    to    the    method   of 

(From  Captain  Bethune's  "Views  in  the  Eastern  Archipelago,"  published  1847.) 



trading  followed  in  Singapore  is  of  interest 
from  the  light  it  throws  on  the  early  commercial 
system  of  the  settlement  :  "  In  considering  the 
extent  of  the  trade  at  Singapore,  rated  not  in 
goods  but  in  money,  some  reference  must  be 
had  to  the  peculiar  method  in  which  all  com- 
mercial dealings  are  there  conducted  ;  the 
unceasing  drain  of  specie  leaves  not  any 
scarcely  in  the  place.  Specie,  therefore,  never 
enters  into  any  common  transaction.  All  goods 
are  disposed  of  on  credit,  generally  for  two 
months,  and  to  intermediate  native  Chinese 
merchants,  and  those  at  the  expiration  of  the 
period  deliver  in  return  not  money,  but  articles 
of  Straits  produce  adapted  to  the  return  cargo  ; 
the  value  on  both  sides  of  the  transaction  is  rated 
from  25  to  30  per  cent,  beyond  the  sum  that 
would  be  paid  in  ready  cash  ;  and  as  the  price 
current  from  which  the  statement  is  rated  is 
the  barter  and  not  the  ready  money  price,  the 
real  value  of  the  trade  may  be  computed  30  per 
cent,  under  the  amount  stated."  ' 

About  this  period  a  curious  question,  arising 
out  of  the  occupation  of  the  island,  gave  a  con- 
siderable amount  of  trouble  to  the  authorities- 
By  the  terms  of  the  Treaty  of  1815  the  United 
States  trade  with  the  Eastern  dependencies  of 
Great  Britain  was  confined  to  Calcutta,  Madras, 
Bombay,  and  Pinang.  The  .construction  put 
upon  this  provision  by  the  Straits  officials  was 
that  Singapore,  even  when  under  the  govern- 
ment of  Pinang,  was  not  a  port  at  which  the 
citizens  of  the  United  States  could  trade.  The 
consequence  was  that  American  ships,  then  very 
numerous  in  these  seas,  touched  only  at  Singa- 
pore and  proceeded  to  Riau,  where  they 
shipped  cargo  vi/hich  had  been  sent  on  from  the 
British  port.  The  practice  was  not  only  irk- 
some to  the  Americans,  but  it  was  detrimental 
to  British  trade  in  that  it  diverted  to  the  Dutch 
port  much  business  which  would  otherwise 
have  been  transacted  at  Singapore.  Eventually, 
in  March,  1830,  the  Singapore  Government, 
yielding  to  the  pressure  which  was  put  upon 
them,  agreed  to  allow  American  vessels  to 
trade  with  Singapore.  But  they  intimated  that 
"  it  must  be  understood  that  such  permission 
cannot  of  itself  legalise  the  act  should  other 
public  officers  having  due  authority  proceed 
against  the  ships  on  the  ground  of  illegality." 
The  concession  was  freely  availed  of,  and  the 
mercantile  marine  of  the  United  States  played 
no  small  part  in  the  next  few  years  in  build- 
ing up  the  great  trade  which  centred  at  the 

Mr.  Ibbetson  retired  from  the  government  in 
1833,  and  was  succeeded  by  Mr.  Kenneth  Mur- 
chison,  the  Resident  Councillor  at  Singapore. 
After  four  years'  tenure  of  the  office  Mr.  Mur- 
chison  proceeded  home,  handing  over  charge 
temporarily  to  Mr.  Samuel  G.  Bonham.  Mr. 
Church  was  sent  out  from  England  to  fill  the 
vacant  office,  but  he  remained  only  a  few 
months.  On  his  departure  Mr.  Bonham  was 
appointed  as  his  successor,  and  held  the  ap- 
pointment until  1843.  During  his  administra- 
tion the  trade  of  the  port  greatly  increased. 
Ships  of  all  nations  resorted  to  the  settlement 
as  a  convenient  calling  place  on  the  voyage  to 
and  from  the  Far  East,  while  it  more  and  more 
became  an  entrepot  for  the  trade  of  the  Eastern 

■  "  Report  of  the  East  India  Cnmpany's  Affairs, 
1831-32,"  Part  II.  p.  656. 

seas.  On  I  the  outbreak  of  the  China  War  its 
strategic  value  was  demonstrated  by  the  ready 
facilities  it  afforded  for  the  expeditious  despatch 
of  troops  and  stores  to  the  theatre  of  war.  For 
nearly  three  years  it  formed  the  rendezvous  as 
well  as  in  great  measure  the  base  of  the  expedi- 
tionary force,  and  unquestionably  no  small 
share  of  the  success  of  the  operations  was  due 
to  the  fact  that  the  Government  had  this 
convenient  centre  with  its  great  resources  at 
their  disposal.  These  were  halcyon  days  for 
Singapore  merchants,  and,  indeed,  for  residents 

imagine  that  these  waters  were  almost  within 
living  memory  infested  with  bloodthirsty 
pirates,  who  prosecuted  their  operations  on  an 
organised  system,  and  robbed  and  murdered 
under  the  very  guns  of  the  British  settlements. 
Such,  however,  was  the  case,  as  is  attested  not 
merely  in  the  works  of  passing  travellers  but  in 
the  formal  records  of  Government  and  the  pro- 
ceedings of  the  courts.  Singapore  itself,  without 
doubt,  was,  before  the  British  occupation,  a  nest 
of  pirates.  Thereafter  the  piratical  base  was 
transferred  to  the  Karimun  Islands,  and  from 

(From  a  sketch  in  llie  India  Office.) 

of  all  descriptions.  So  flourishing  was  the 
settlement  that  there  were  some  who  thought 
that  the  progress  was  too  rapid  to  be  really 
.healthy.  One  writer  of  the  period  confidently  ' 
declared  that  the  trade  of  the  port  had  reached 
its  maximum,  and  that  the  town  had  attained  to 
its  highest  point  of  importance  and  prosperity. 
"Indeed,"  he  added,  "it  is  at  the  present 
moment  rather  overbuilt."  Alas  !  for  the  repu- 
tation of  the  prophet.  Since  the  time  his  pre- 
diction was  penned  Singapore  has  considerably 
more  than  quadrupled  in  trade  and  population, 
and  its  maximum  of  development  is  still 
apparently  a  long  way  off. 


Piracy  ix  the  Str.^its — Steam  Navigation 
— Fiscal  Questions. 

A  BLOT,  and  a  serious  one,  upon  the  government 
of  the  Straits  Settlements  up  to  and  even  beyond 
this  period  was  the  piracy  which  was  rife 
throughout  the  archipelago.  At  the  present 
day,  when  vessels  of  all  classes  sail  through  the 
Straits  with  as  little  apprehension  as  they  navi- 
gate   the    English    Channel,   it   is   difficult   to 

•  "  Trade  and  Travel  in  the  Far  East,"  by  G.  F. 
Davidson,  p.  69. 

time  to  time,  even  after  the  Dutch  annexation  of 
the  islands  in  1827,  these  were  a  favourite  resort 
of  the  roving  hordes  which  battened  on  the  trade 
of  the  new  British  port.  The  native  chiefs  were 
usually  hand  in  glove  with  the  pirates,  and 
received  toll  of  their  nefarious  trade.  Thus  we 
find  Mr.  Fullerton,  in  a  communication  to 
Government,  vi^riting  in  April,  1829  :  "  Of  the 
connection  of  the  Sultan  of  Johore,  residing 
under  our  protection  at  Singapore,  and  his 
relatives,  the  chiefs  of  Rhio  and  Lingen,  with 
the  pirates  to  the  eastward  there  is  little  doubt, 
and  there  is  some  reason  to  believe  that  the  ex- 
Raja  of  Quedah,  residing  under  our  protection 
at  this  island  [Pinang],  if  he  does  not  directly 
countenance  the  piratical  proceedings  of  his 
relatives,  does  not  use  any  means  seriously  to 
discourage  them."'  The  usual  prey  of  the 
pirates  was  the  native  junks  which  traded 
between  China  and  the  Straits  ports.  But 
European  vessels  were  attacked  when  the 
venture  could  be  undertaken  with  impunity, 
and  interspersed  in  the  prosaic  records  of  the 
dull  round  of  ordinary  administration  are 
thrilling  and  romantic  accounts  of  captive 
Englishmen,  and  even  Englishwomen,  de- 
tained in  bondage  in  the  then  remote  interior 
by  native  chiefs  to  whom  they  had  been 
sold  by  pirates.  Spasmodic  efforts  were 
made   by   the   authorities   from   time   to   time 

'  "  Straits  Settlements  Recurds,"  No.  184. 



to  grapple  with  the  evil,  but,  apart  from  a 
little  bloodshed  and  a  liberal  expenditure  of 
ammunition,  the  results  were  practically  ml. 
The  elusive  pirates,  in  the  face  of  the  superior 
force  which  went  out  after  them,  showed 
that  discretion  which  is  proverbially  the  better 
part  of  valour.  They  lived  to  fight  another 
day,  and  not  infrequently  that  other  day  was 
one  in  the  immediate  future,  for  the  intelligence 
system  of  the  bands  was  well  organised,  and 
they  usually  knew  the  exact  limits  of  the 
official  action. 

The  commercial  community  of  Singapore 
wa-jced  very  restive  under  the  repeated  losses  to 
which  they  were  subjected  by  the  piratical 
depredations.  In  an  article  on  piracy  on  June 
17,  1830,  the  Singapore  Chronicle  stigmatised  in 
sharp  terms  the  supineness  of  the  British  and 
Dutch  authorities  in  permitting  the  organised 
system  of  piracy  which  then  ^xisted  in  the 
Straits.  After  stating  that  therg  was  a  total 
stagnation  of  trade  owing  to  rovers  hovering 
within  gunshot  of  Singapore  river,  the  writer 
proceeded :  "  Our  rulers  say  :  '  Let  the  galled 
jade  wince.'  They  wander  the  Straits  in  well- 
armed  vessels  and  may  well  feel  apathy  and 
security,  but  were  one  of  the  select,  a  governor 
or  resident  or  deputy,  to  fall  into  the  hands  of 
pirates,  what  would  be  the  consequence  ?  We 
should  then  have  numerous  men-of-war, 
cruisers,  and  armed  boats  scourjng  these  seas. 
Indeed,  to  produce  such  an  effect,  though  we 
wish  no  harm,  and  would  exert  faurselves  to  the 
utmost  for  his  release,  we  would  not  care  to 
hear  of  such  an  event.  We  have  heard  or 
read  of  a  bridge  in  so  dilapidated  a  condition 
that  in  crossing  it  lives  were  frequently  lost. 
No  notice  was  ever  taken  of  such  accidents ! 
At  length,  woe  to  the  time  !  on  an  unlucky 
morning  the  servant  maid  of  Lady  Mayo,  un- 
fortunately for  herself  and  the  public,  let  a 
favourite  pug  dog  (a  poodle)  drop  over  the 
parapet  into  the  water.  The  poor  dear  animal 
was  drowned.  What  was  the  consequence  of 
such  a  calamity .'  Was  the  bridge  repaired  1 
No,  but  a  new  one  was  built  ! " 

The  lash  of  the  writer's  satire  was  none  too 
severe,  and  it  seems  not  to  have  been  without 
effect,  for  shortly  afterwards  a  man-of-war  was 
sent  to  cruise  about  the  entrance  to  the  har- 
bour. But  the  measure  fell  very  short  of  what 
was  needed.  The  pirates,  fully  advertised  of 
the  vessel's  movements,  took  care  to  keep  out 
of  the  way,  and  when  some  time  afterwards  it 
was  removed  from  the  station  their  operations 
were  resumed  with  full  vigour.  So  intolerable 
did  the  situation  at  last  become  that  in  1832  the 
Chinese  merchants  of  the  port,  with  the  sanc- 
tion of  the  Government,  equipped  at  their  own 
expense  four  large  trading  boats  fully  armed  to 
suppress  the  pirates.  The  little  fleet  on  sally- 
ing out  fell  in  with  two  pirate  prahus,  and 
succeeded  in  sinking  one  of  them.  The 
Government,  shamed  into  activity  by  this 
display  of  private  enterprise,  had  two  boats 
built  at  iWalacca  for  protective  purposes.  They 
carried  an  armament  of  24-pounder  guns,  and 
were  manned  by  Malays.  It  was  a  very  inade- 
quate force  to  cope  with  the  widespread  piracy 
of  the  period,  and  the  conditions  not  materially 
improving,  petitions  were  in  1835  forwarded  by 
the  European  inhabitants  of  Singapore  to  the 
King    and  to  the   Governor-General,  praying 

for  the  adoption  of  more  rigorous  measures. 
In  response  to  the  appeal  H.M.  sloop  WolfwTis 
sent  out  with  a  special  commission  to  deal  with 
the  pirates.  Arriving  on  March  22,  1836,  she 
conducted  a  vigorous  crusade  against  the 
marauders.  The  pirates  were  attacked  in 
their  lairs  and  their  boats  either  captured  or 
destroyed.  One  of  the  prahus  seized  by  the 
Wolf  was  54  feet  long  and  15  feet  beam,  but 
the  general  length  of  these  craft  was  56  feet. 
They  were  double-banked,  pulling  36  oars — 18 
on  each  side.  The  rowers  were  of  the  lower 
castes  or  slaves.  Each  prahu  had  a  stockade 
not  far  from  the  bow,  through  which  was 
pointed  an  iron  4-pounder.  There  was  another 
stockade  aft  on  which  were  stuck  two  swivels, 
and  around  the  sides  were  from  three  to  six 
guns  of  the  same  description."  The  brilliant 
work  done  by  the  Wolf  was  greatly  appreciated 
by  the  mercantile  community  at  Singapore. 
To  mark  "their grateful  sense  of  his  unwearied 
and  successful  exertions  "  the  European  and 
Chinese  merchants  presented  to  Captain  Stan- 
ley, the  commandant  of  the  Wolf  a  sword  of 
honour,  and  a  public  dinner  was  given  to  him 
and  his  officers  on  June  14,  1837,  at  which 
most  complimentary  speeches  were  delivered. 
Severely  as  the  pirates  had  been  handled  by 
the  Wolf,  the  iniquitous  trade  had  only  been 


(A  substitute  for  shot,  used  in  old  times  by  the  Malay 

pirates.    From  a  slcetch  in  the  India  Office ) 

scotched.  It  developed  into  activity  again  and 
again  subsequently,  and  was  not  finally  wiped 
out  until  after  repeated  expeditions  had  been 
conducted  against  the  marauders.  As  far  as 
piracy  on  the  open  sea  was  concerned  the 
development  of  steam  navigation  did  more 
than  anything  else  to  remove  the  curse  from 
the  Straits.  The  first  experience  of  the  ruilians 
of  the  new  force  had  in  it  an  element  of  grim 
amusement.  In  1837  the  Diana,  a  little  steam 
consort  of  the  Wolf,  was  cruising  in  the  Straits 
when  she  fell  in  with  a  pirate  flotilla.  The 
marauders,  thinking  she  was  a  sailing-boat  on 
fire,  and  therefore  an  easy  prey  for  theiT),  bore 
down  upon  her,  firing  as  they  approached.  To 
their  horror  the  Diana  came  up  close  against 
the  wind  and  then  suddenly  stopped  before 
the  leading  prahu,  pouring  a  deadly  fire  into 
the  pirate  ranks.  The  process  was  repeated 
before  each  craft  of  the  flotilla,  with  the  result 
that  the  force  in  the  end  was  almost  annihilated. 
Profiting  by  their  bitter  experience  on  this  and 
other  occasions,  the  pirates  confined  their  opera- 
tions to  those  parts  of  the  coast  on  which  the 
shallow  waters  and  numerous  creeks  provided 
a  safe  refuge  in  case  of  attack  by  war  vessels, 
and  so  they  contrived  to  postpone  for  years 
the  inevitable  end  of  the  system  which  had 
flourished  for  ages  in  the  archipelago. 
■  '*  Anecdotal  History  of  Singapore." 

The  introduction  of  steam  navigation  into 
the  Straits  had  such  wide-reaching  effects  on 
the  trade  of  Singapore  that  a  reference  to  the 
subject  falls  naturally  into  a  survey  of  the  his- 
tory of  the  settlement.  In  an  earlier  part  of 
this  work  we  have  seen  that  to  the  Dutch 
belongs  the  honour  of  placing  the  first  steam 
vessel  on  the  Straits.  The  Vander  Capellan 
was  not  what  would  be  considered  in  these 
days  a  success.  It  steamed  only  a  few  knots 
an  hour,  could  keep  the  sea  merely  for  a  very 
short  time,  and  its  passages  were  frequently 
interrupted  by  breakdowns  of  the  machinery. 
Still,  its  perforinances  were  sufficiently  re- 
markable to  suggest  the  enormous  possibilities 
of  the  new  force  in  the  usually  calm  waters  of 
the  Straits,  After  its  appearance  a  scheme 
was  mooted  for  the  establishment  of  a  steam 
service  between  Singapore,  Batavia,  Malacca, 
Pinang,  and  Calcutta.  The  expectation  was 
that  the  passage  from  the  former  port  to 
Calcutta,  which  in  the  case  of  sailing  ships 
occupied  five  weeks,  would  not  take  more  than 
eight  days.  Nothing  came  of  the  project  im- 
mediately. The  pioneers  were  before  their 
time.  They  had  to  reckon  with  an  immense 
amount  of  prejudice  on  the  part  of  vested 
interests  and  a  still  larger  degree  of  honest 
incredulity  as  to  the  financial  practicability  of 
working  so  expensive  an  agency  as  steam 
appeared  to  be.  We  get  a  vivid  impression  of 
the  doubtful  attitude  of  the  Singapore  commu- 
nity in  the  columns  of  the  Singapore  Chronicle 
in  1828.  The  Malacca  paper  about  the  middle 
of  that  year  published  an  article  enthusiastically 
recommending  the  introduction  of  steam  navi- 
gation. The  Singapore  editor  in  the  issue  of 
his  paper  of  October  23rd,  commenting  on  this, 
said  :  "  That  it  would  be  an  agreeable,  if  not  in 
other  respects  a  very  useful,  thing  to  have  a 
steam  vessel  between  the  settlements,  which 
might  visit  now  and  then  Calcutta,  Java,  or 
China,  everyone  is  agreed.  The  only  ques- 
tion, but  rather  a  material  one,  is — would  it 
pay  ?  Supposing  the  vessel  purchased  and 
ready  for  sea,  would  the  money  received  for 
freight  and  passage  pay  the  interest  of  the 
outlay  ?  Would  it  pay  the  heavy  and  constantly 
recurring  charges  of  a  competent  commander, 
an  engineer,  a  crew,  fuel,  the  expenses  of 
frequent  repairs,  including  the  loss  of  time 
consumed  in  them  ? "  The  Malacca  scribe, 
not  deterred  by  this  copious  dash  of  cold 
water,  reiterated  his  strong  belief  in  the  vir- 
tues of  steam  power.  Thereupon  the  Singapore 
Chronicle  remarked  that  it  did  not  know  how 
its  Malacca  contemporary  reconciled  his  con- 
tempt of  rhetoric  "  with  the  bold  dash  of  it 
contained  in  his  assertion  that  a  steam  vessel 
or  two  in  the  Straits  would  have  the  marvellous 
effect  of  doubling  the  commerce  of  those  settle- 
ments." The  Malacca  journal  retorted  by 
citing  the  fact  that  fifty  years  previously  it 
took  more  than  a  fortnight  to  go  from  London 
to  Edinburgh,  while  the  proprietors  of  the 
wagons  used  to  advertise  days  previously 
for  passengers.  "Now,"  he  went  on,  "there 
are  no  less  than  two  thousand  coaches  which 
daily  leave  and  arrive  at  London  from  all  parts 
of  the  kingdom."  He  argued  from  this  that 
steam  navigation,  despite  its  costliness  and  the 
difficulties  which  attended  it,  was  bound  to  be 
successful.      While  this    lively    polemic    was 



proceeding  the  Government  of  the  settlements 
had  before  it  a  serious  proposal  to  provide  a 
steamer  to  maintain  communication  between 
Pinang,  Malacca,  and  Singapore.  The  sug- 
gestion arose  out  of  the  difficulty  of  holding 
the  courts  of  quarter  sessions  at  each  of  the 
three  ports  at  the  regular  periods  enjoined  in 
the  charter.  Sir  J.  T.  Claridge,  the  Recorder, 
pointed  out  that  if  sailing  vessels  were  used  at 
least  two  months  of  his  time  would  be  occupied 
annually  in  travelling  between  the  ports.  He 
urged  that  the  solution  of  the  difliculty  was  the 
provision  of  a  steamer,  which  would  enable  him 
to  do  the  journey  from  Pinang  to  Singapore  in 
three  days,  and  to  return  viii  Malacca  in  the 
same  period.  The  Supreme  Government  de- 
clined to  provide  the  steam  vessel  on  the 
ground  that  the  cost  would  be  prohibitive. 
After  this  the  question  of  steam  navigation 
slumbered  for  some  years.  When  next  it  was 
seriously  revived  it  was  in  the  form  of  a  pro- 
posal for  a  monthly  service  from  Singapore  to 
Calcutta.  A  company  was  formed  under  the 
name  of  the  New  Bengal  Steam  Fund,  with 
shares  of  Rs.  600  each.  As  many  as  2,475 
shares  were  taken  up  by  706  individuals,  and 
the  project,  with  this  substantial  financial  back- 
ing, assumed  a  practical  shape.  Eventually,  in 
1841  the  committee  of  the  fund  entered  into  an 
agreement  with  the  P.  &  O.  Company,  and 
transferred  its  shares  to  that  company.  From 
this  period  development  of  steam  navigation 
was  rapid,  until  the  point  was  reached  at  which 
the  Straits  were  traversed  by  a  never-ending 
procession  of  steam  vessels  bearing  the  flags  of 
all  the  great  maritime  nations  of  the  world. 

An  early  outcome  of  the  establishment  of 
steam  navigation  in  the  Straits  was  the  intro- 
duction of  a  regular  mail  service.  The  first 
contract  for  the  conveyance  of  the  mails  was 
made  between  the  P.  &  O.  Company  and  the 
Government  in  1845.  Under  the  terms  of  this 
arrangement  the  company  contracted  to 
convey  the  mails  from  Ceylon  to  Pinang  in 
forty-five  hours,  and  from  thence  to  Singapore 
in  forty-eight  hours.  The  first  mail  steamer 
despatched  under  the  contract  was  the  Lady 
Wood,  which  arrived  at  Singapore  on 
August  4,  1845,  after  an  eight-day  passage 
from  Point  de  Galle.  She  brought  the  mails 
from  London  in  the  then  marvellous  time  of 
for-ty-one  days.  The  first  homeward  mail  was 
despatched  amid  many  felicitations  on  the 
expedition  which  the  new  conditions  made 
possible  in  the  carrying  through  of  business 
arrangements.  Unhappily,  before  the  mail 
steamer  had  fairly  cleared  the  harbour  it  was  dis- 
covered that  the  whole  of  the  prepaid  letters  had, 
through  the  blundering  of  some  official,  been 
left  behind.  This  contretemps  naturally  caused 
much  irritation,  but  eventually  the  community 
settled  down  to  a  placid  feeling  of  contentment 
at  the  prospect  which  the  mail  system  opened 
up  of  rapid  and  regular  intercourse  with  Europe 
and  China  and  the  intermediate  ports. 

From  time  to  time,  as  Singapore  grew  and 
its  revenues  increased,  attempts  were  made  to 
tamper  with  the  system  of  Free  Trade  on 
which  its  greatness  had  been  built.  As  early 
as  1829,  when  the  temporary  financial  difficulty 
created  by  the  enforced  suspension  of  the 
Gaming  Farm  system  necessitated  a  considera- 
tion of  the    question  of  creating  new  sources 

of  revenue,  we  find  Mr.  Presgrave,  who  was 
in  temporary  charge  of  the  administration  at 
Singapore,  suggesting  a  tax  on  commerce  as 
the  only  means  of  supplying  the  deficiency. 
He  expressed  the  view  that  such  an  impost 
would  not  injure  the  rising  commerce  of  the 
island  provided  judicious  arrangements  were 
made  for  exempting  native  trade  from  some  of 
those  restrictive  measures  usually  attendant  on 
custom-house  regulations.  "The  policy  of 
exempting  the  trade  from  all  impositions  on 
the  first  establishment  of  Singapore,"  he  pro- 
ceeded to  say,  "  cannot,  I  imagine,  be  called 
in  question  ;  but  as  the  trade  has  now  passed 
the  stage  of  its  infancy  I  am  of  opinion  there 
is  little  to  apprehend  from  casting  away  the 
leading  strings."'  The  " leading  strings  "  were, 
fortunately,  not  cast  away.  The  Supreme 
Government  was  opposed  to  any  change  and 
the  Court  of  Directors,  though  not  con- 
spicuously endowed  with  foresight  at  this  time, 
were  wise  enough  to  realise  that  Singapore's 
prosperity  was  bound  up  in  its  maintenance 
as  a  free  port.  The  re-establishment  of  the 
Gaming  Farm  set  at  rest  the  question  for  the 
time  being  ;  but  there  was  a  fresh  assault 
made  on  the  principle  in  1836,  when  the 
efforts  for  the  suppression  of  piracy  imposed  a 
burden  upon  the  Supreme  Government  which 
was  disinclined  to  bear.  The  idea  then 
mooted  was  the  levying  of  a  special  tax  on 
the  trade  of  the  three  settlements  to  cover  the 
charges.  A  draft  bill  was  submitted  to  Mr. 
Murchison,  the  Resident,  for  his  opinion,  and 
he  in  turn  consulted  the  mercantile  com- 
munity. Their  reply  left  no  shadow  of  doubt 
as  to  the  unpopularity  of  the  proposals.  A 
public  meeting  of  protest,  summoned  by  the 
sheriff,  held  on  February  4,  1836,  passed 
strongly  worded  resolutions  of  protest  and 
adopted  a  petition  to  Parliament  to  disallow 
the  scheme.  In  August,  Lord  Glenelg,  the 
Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  wrote  saying  that 
the  measure  was  deprecated  by  the  Govern- 
ment and  would  find  no  countenance  from 
them.  In  November  the  India  Board  directed 
the  Supreme  Government  to  suspend  the 
proposals,  if  not  enacted,  and  if  enacted  to 
repeal  them.  The  Indian  authorities,  defeated 
on  the  question  of  a  direct  impost,  in  1837 
returned  to  the  charge  with  a  tonnage  duty 
on  square-rigged  vessels.  The  scheme  came 
to  nothing  at  the  time,  but  it  was  revived 
about  twenty  years  later.  A  protest  was 
promptly  forwarded  to  the  home  authorities 
from  Singapore  against  the  project.  The 
Court  of  Directors,  on  receiving  this,  wrote  to 
the  Governor-General  on  March  25,  1857,  to 
inquire  if  there  was  any  foundation  for  the 
statement  that  dues  were  to  be  levied.  "You 
are  doubtless  avirare,"  the  Court  wrote,  "that 
when  this  subject  was  under  our  consideration 
in  the  year  1825  we  signified  our  entire  appro- 
bation of  the  abolition  of  port  dues  at  Singa- 
pore ;  and  that  in  the  following  year  we 
expressed  our  opinion  that  the  establishment 
of  duties  on  imports  and  exports  at  that  settle- 
ment would  be  inexpedient.  The  success  which 
has  hitherto  attended  the  freedom  of  trade  at 
these  ports  has  confirmed  the  opinion  ex- 
pressed to  you  in  these  despatches,  and  we 
should  deprecate  the  imposition  of  any  burden 
^  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  153. 

on  the  commerce  of  the  Straits  Settlements 
excepting  under  circumstances  of  urgent 

The  Government  of  India  replied  that  they 
had  no  intention  to  impose  customs  duties  at 
Singapore.  They  explained  that  with  regard 
to  the  levy  of  port  dues,  after  the  Port  Regu- 
lation Act  of  1855  was  passed  a  request  was 
made  to  the  Straits  Government,  in  common 
with  other  local  administrations,  for  certain 
information  to  enable  the  Government  to 
pass  a  supplementary  Act  for  the  regulation 
of  port  due  fees.  On  February  10,  1856, 
the  Governor  of  the  Straits  replied  that  if  not 
considered  to  interfere  with  the  freedom  of 
the  port  he  was  inclined  to  agree  with  the 
imposition  of  a  due  of  half  an  anna  per  ton  on 
all  square-rigged  vessels,  and  would  further 
recommend  that  all  native  ships  clearing  out 
of  the  harbour  should  pay  a  fee  of  two  rupees 
for  junks  and  one  rupee  for  boats  of  all 
descriptions.  "  The  amount  so  realised  would," 
the  Governor  said,  "  provide  for  all  present 
expenses  and  enable  us  to  do  all  that  may  be 
necessary  for  the  efficient  management  of  the 
harbours  and  their  approaches."  The  de- 
spatch pointed  out  that  dues  were  abolished 
at  Singapore  in  1823,  not  because  they  were 
contrary  to  any  sound  principle,  but  because 
they  were  unfairly  assessed  and  were  incon- 
sidelable  in  amount.  The  strong  expression 
of  opinion  from  the  Court  of  Directors  was 
not  without  its  effect.  The  scheme  was  con- 
veniently' shelved,  and  amid  the  larger  ques- 
tions which  speedily  arose  in  connection  with 
the  transfer  of  the  government  of  India  to  the 
Crown  it  was  forgotten. 

Apart  from  this  matter  of  imposts  on  the 
trade,  there  was  from  time  to  time  serious 
dissatisfaction  with  the  control  of  the  Govern- 
ment of  India  of  the  settlement.  In  1847 
the  discontent  found  vent  in  two  petitions  to 
Parliament,  one  with  reference  to  an  Indian 
Act  (No.  III.  of  1847)  transferring  the  appoint- 
ment of  police  officers  from  the  court  of 
judicature  and  quarter  sessions  to  the  Crown, 
and  the  other  asking  that  municipal  funds 
should  be  placed  under  the  management  of  a 
committee  chosen  by  the  ratepayers,  which 
had  always  been  the  case,  but  which  practice 
was  rendered  doubtful  in  the  opinion  of  the 
Recorder  (Sir  W.  Norris)  by  another  Act.  An 
able  statement  in  support  of  the  petition  was 
drawn  up  by  Mr.  John  Crawfurd,  a  leading 
citizen.  The  facts  set  forth  in  this  document 
constituted  a  very  striking  picture  of  the 
progressive  growth  of  the  settlement.  Mr. 
Crawfurd  wrote  : 

"  The  industry  of  the  inhabitants  of  Singa- 
pore has  created  the  fund  from  which  the 
whole  revenues  are  levied.  This  is  made 
evident  enough  when  the  fact  is  adverted  to 
that  ■  eight-and-twenty  years  ago  the  island, 
which  has  now  fifty  thousand  inhabitants,  was 
a  jungle  with  150  Malay  fishermen  imbued 
with  a  strong  propensity  to  piracy  and  no 
wealth  at  all,  unless  it  were  a  little  plunder.  At 
the  present  time  the  entire  revenues  may  be 
safely  estimated  at  not  less  than  ;£'5o,ooo  per 
annum,  being  equal  to  a  pound  sterling  per 
head,  which  is  equal  to  about  five-fold  the 
ratio  of  taxation  yielded  by  the  population  of 



"The  revenues  are  divided  into  two 
branches,  although  the  division  be  in  reality 
little  better  than  arbitrary — the  general  and  the 
police  ;  or  taxes  and  rates.  The  first  consists 
of  excise  on  wine,  spirits,  and  opium  ;  of  quit- 
rents  ;  of  the  produce  of  the  sale  of  wild 
lands  ;  of  fees  and  fines  ;  of  postages,  &c.  The 
second  is  a  percentage  on  the  rental  of  houses. 
The  general  revenue  amounted  in  1845-46  in 
round  numbers  to  ^^14,000  and  the  local  one  to 

industrv  of  the  inhabitants — a  fund  wholly 
created  within  the  short  period  of  twenty-eight 
years.  I  cannot  see,  then,  with  what  show  of 
reason  it  can  be  said  that  the  Executive 
Government  pays  the  police,  simply  because  it 
is  the  mere  instrument  of  disbursement." 

Mr.  Crawfurd  went  on  to  say  that  the 
practice  with  respect  to  the  colonies  under  the 
Crown  had  of  late  years  been  rather  to  extend 
than  to  curtail  the  privileges  of  the  inhabitants. 


(From  "  Skizzen  aus  Singapur  und  Djohor.") 

;£'7,ooo,  making  a  total  of  £21,000— a  sum 
which,  if  expended  with  a  just  economy,  ought 
to  be  adequate  to  every  purpose  of  government 
in  a  small  sea-girt  island,  with  a  population  for 
the  most  part  concentrated  in  one  spot. 

"  From  this  statement  it  is  plain  enough  that 
whether  the  police  force  is  paid  wholly  out  of 
the  police  revenue  or  partly  from  the  police 
and  partly  from  the  general  revenue,  it  must, 
in  any  case,  be  paid  out  of  the  produce  of  the 

and  he  expressed  a  hope  that  the  East  India 
Company  would  be  prepared  to  follow  a  course 
"  which,  by  conciliating  the  people,  secures 
harmony,  strengthens  the  hands  of  the  local 
Government,  and  consequently  contributes 
largely  to  facilitate  the  conduct  of  the  adminis- 
tration.'' In  this  statement,  as  Mr.  Buckley 
suggests  in  his  work,  we  have  possibly  the 
commencement  of  the  movement  which  led 
twenty  years  afterwards  to  the  transfer  of  the 

settlements  from  the  contiol  of  the  Government 
of  India  to  that  of  the  Colonial  Office.  How- 
ever that  may  be,  the  mercantile  community  of 
Singapore  was  unquestionably  becoming  less 
and  less  disposed  to  submit  their  increasingly 
important  concerns  to  the  sole  arbitrament  of 
the  prejudiced  and  sometimes  ill-informed 
bureaucracy  of  India. 

One  notable  interest  which  was  at  this  time 
coming  rapidly  to  the  front  was  the  planting 
industry.  One  of  Raffles's  first  concerns  after 
he  had  occupied  the  settlement  was  to  stimu- 
late agricultural  enterprise.  On  his  initiative 
the  foundations  of  a  Botanical  Department 
were  laid,  and  plants  and  seeds  were  distributed 
from  it  to  those  settlers  who  desired  to  culti- 
vate the  soil.  The  first-fruits  of  the  under- 
taking were  not  encouraging.  Compared  with 
Pinang,  the  settlement  offered  little  attraction 
to  the  planter.  The  soil  was  comparatively 
poor,  the  labour  supply  limited,  and  the  island 
was  largely  an  uncleared  waste,  ravaged  by 
wild  beasts.  Gradually,  however,  the  best  of 
the  land  was  taken  up,  and,  aided  by  an 
excellent  climate,  the  various  plantations 
flourished.  A  statement  prepared  by  the 
Government  surveyor  in  1848  gives  some 
interesting  particulars  of  the  extent  of  the 
cultivation  and  the  results  accruing  from  it. 
There  were  at  that  time  1,190  acres  planted 
with  71,400  nutmeg-trees,  the  produce  of  which 
in  nutmegs  and  mace  amounted  to  656  piculs, 
yielding  an  annual,  value  of  39,360  dollars. 
There  were  28  acres  planted  with  clove-trees. 
Coconut  cultivation  occupied  2,658  acres,  the 
number  of  trees  being  342,608,  and  the  produce 
yielding  a  value  of  10,800  dollars.  Betel-nut 
cultivation  absorbed  445  acres,  and  upon  this 
area  128,281  trees  were  planted,  yielding  1,030 
dollars  annually.  Fruit  trees  Occupied  1,037 
acres,  and  their  produce  was  valued  at  9,568 
dollars.  The  gambler  cultivation  covered  an 
extent  of  24,220  acres,  and  the  produce  was 
valued  at  80,000  dollars.  The  pepper  culti- 
vation was  stated  at  2,614  acres,  yielding 
108,230  dollars  annually.  Vegetable  gardens 
covered  379  acres,  and  the  produce  was  stated 
at  34,675  dollars.  The  siri  or  pawn  vines 
extended  to  22  acres,  and  yielded  10,560  dollars, 
while  sugar-cane,  pineapples,  rice,  or  paddy 
engrossed  1,962  acres,  and  the  estimated 
produce  was  valued  at  32,386  dollars.  The 
quantity  of  ground  under  pasture  was  402 
acres,  valued  at  2,000  dollars  annually.  The 
total  gross  annual  produce  of  the  island  was 
valued  at  328,711  dollars. 

.\t  a  later  period  the  planting  industry  sus- 
tained a  disastrous  check  through  the  failure  of 
the  crops  consequent  upon  the  exhaustion  of 
the  soil.  Many  of  the  planters  migrated  to 
better  land  across  the  channel  in  Johore,  and 
formed  the  nucleus  of  the  great  community 
which  flourishes  there  to-day. 

In  1845  the  question  of  providing  dock 
accommodation  at  Singapore  was  first  seriously 
broached.  The  proposal  put  forward  was  for  a 
dock  300  feet  long,  68  feet  wide,  and  15  feet 
deep,  to  cost  80,000  dollars.  Inadequate  support 
was  accorded  to  the  scheme,  and  the  question 
slumbered  until  a  good  many  years  later,  when 
the  famous  Tanjong  Pagar  Dock  Company 
came  into  existence  and  commenced  the  great 
undertaking,   which   was    taken   over   by  the 



Government  in  1906  at  a  cost  to  the  colpny  of 
nearly  three  and  a  half  million  pounds. 

The  dock    scheme   was    suggested    by   the 
growing  trade  flowing  through  the  Straits,  with 
Singapore  as  an  almost  inevitable  port  of  call. 
Identical  circumstances  led  irresistibly  a  few 
years  later  to  an  eager  discussion  of  the  prac- 
tical   aspects    of    telegraphic    communication. 
The    authorities    had     outgrown    the    earlier 
attitude  which  saw  "  no  rational  use "  for  a 
telegraphic  system  in  Singapore,  but  they  were 
still    very    far    from    realising    the    immense 
imperial    potentialities   which   centred  in    an 
efficient  cable  system.     When  the  subject  vi'as 
first  mooted  in  a  practical  way  in  1858  by  the 
launching  of  a  scheme  by  Mr.  W.  H.  Reed  for 
the  extension  of  the  Indian  telegraph  lines  to 
Singapore,  China,  and  Australia,  the  Australian 
colonies     took    the    matter    up    warmly,   and 
promised  a  subsidy  of  ;f35,ooo  for  thirty  years, 
and  the  Dutch   Government,  not   less  enthu- 
siastic, offered   a    subsidy  of   ;£8,Soo  for  the 
same    period.     But    the    Home    Government 
resolutely  declined  to  assist,  and  though  re- 
peated   deputations  waited    upon    it    on    the 
subject,  it  refused  to  alter  its  policy.     Never- 
theless the  project  was  proceeded  with,  and  on 
November  24,  1859,  Singapore  people  had  the 
felicity  of  seeing  the  first  link  forged  in  the 
great    system   of    telegraphic    communication 
that  now  exists  by  the  opening  of  the  electric 
cable  between   Singapore  and  Batavia.     Con- 
gratulatory messages  were  exchanged,  and  the 
community  were  getting  used  to  the  experience 
of  having  their  messages   flashed  across  the 
wire,  when  there  were  ominous  delays  due  to 
injuries    caused    to    the   cable    either   by  the 
friction  of  coral  rocks  or  by  anchors  of  vessels 
dropped  in  the  narrow  straits  through  which 
the  line  passed.     Not  for  a  considerable  time 
was  the  system  placed  on  a  perfectly  satisfactory 
basis.     In  1866  a  new  scheme  was  started  for  a 
line  of  telegraphs  from  Rangoon  through  Siam 
to  Singapore,  from  Malacca  through  Sumatra, 
Java,  and  the  Dutch  islands  to  Australia,  and 
through  Cochin  China  to  China.     This  project 
was  not  more  favoured  with  official  counten- 
ance than  the  earlier  one,  and  it  remained  for 
private   interests    alone   to   initiate   and   carry 
through     the    remarkable    system    by    which 
Singapore  was  brought  into  touch  wilh  every 
part    of     the    civilised    world    by    its    cables 
radiating  from  that  point. 

In  political  as  in  commercial  matters  the 
policy  of  the  East  India  Company  in  relation 
to  the  Straits  Settlements  was  narrow-minded 
and  lacking  in  foresight.  In  some  cases  it 
showed  an  even  more  objectionable  quality — it 
was  unjust.  It  is  difficult  to  find  in  the  whole 
range  of  the  history  of  British  dealings  with 
Asiatic  races  a  more  flagrant  example  of 
wrong-doing  than  the  treatment  of  the  Sultan 
of  Kedah,  or  Quedah,  from  whom  we  obtained 
the  grant  of  the  island  of  Pinang.  The  story 
is  told  in  the  section  of  the  work  dealing  with 
Pinang,  and  it  is  only  necessary  to  say  here 
that,  having  obtained  a  valuable  territorial 
grant  under  conditions  agreed  to  by  its  repre- 
sentative, and  tacitly  accepted  by  itself,  the 
Government  declined  to  carry  out  those  condi- 
tions when  circumstances  seemed  to  make  rati- 
fication inexpedient.  At  Singapore  an  almost 
exact  parallel  to  the  Company's  action,  or,  to 

speak  correctly,  inaction  in  this  instance,  was 
furnished  in  its  dealings  with  the  Sultan  Tunku 
All,  the  son  of  Sultan  Husein,  who,  jointly  with 
the  Dato'  Temenggong  Abdul  Rahman,  had 
ceded  the  island  to  the  British  Government  in 
1819.  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  is  at  great  pains 
in  his  book  to  unravel  the  rather  tangled  facts, 
and  it  is  with  a  sense  of  humiliation  that  they 
must  be  read  by  every  self-respecting  Briton 

small  account,  but  the  influx  of  Chinese  planters 
created  a  revenue,  and  it  became  important  to 
know  to  whom  that  revenue  should  be  paid. 
Governor  Butterworth,  in  a  communication  to 
the  Supreme  Government  of  October  21,  1846, 
spoke  of  the  Temenggong  having  "  irregu- 
larly "  collected  the  small  revenue — an  impost 
on  timber — previously  existing,  and  recom- 
mended that  the  proceeds  of  an  opium  farm 

(From  "  Skizzen  aus  Singapur  und  Djohor.") 

who  values  the  name  of  his  country  for  fair 
dealing.  The  narrative  is  too  long  to  give  in 
detail  here,  but  briefly  it  may  be  said  that  the 
dispute  turned  on  the  respective  rights  of  the 
Sultan  and  the  Temenggong.  The  controversy 
directly  arose  out  of  a  request  made  by  Tunku 
Ali  that  he  should  be  installed  as  Sultan  of 
Johore.  The  matter  first  assumed  importance 
in  the  early  days  of  the  Chinese  migration  to 
Johore.     Before  that  Johore  was  a  territory  of 

just  established  should  be  equally  divided 
between  the  two.  Accompanying  this  -letter 
and  recommendation  was  an  application  which 
had  been  made  by  Tunku  Ali  that  he  should  be 
acknowledged  and  installed  as  Sultan.  The 
reply  of  the  Government  was  to  the  effect  that 
"unless  some  political  advantage  could  be 
shown  to  accrue  from  the  measure  the  Honour- 
able the  President  in  Council  declined  to  adopt 
it."     In  1852  the  question  was  again  raised  by 



MK  E.  A.  Blundell,  who  was  ofticiating  as 
Governor  at  the  time.  This  functionary  ex- 
pre;ssed  his  inability  to  find  any  ground  of 
expediency  to  justify  the  step,  but  he  strongly 
urged  the  impolicy  of  allowing  "  such  an 
apparently  clear  and  undisputed  claim "  as 
that  of  Tunku  Ali  to  remain  any  longer  in 
abeyance.  An  unfavourable  reply  was  given 
by  the  Supreme  Government  to  the  proposal. 
Mr.  Blundell,  undeterred  by  this,  raised  the 
matter  afresh  in  a  letter  dated  January  14, 
1853.  In  this  communication  Mr.  Blundell  re- 
affiritied  with  emphasis  the  justice  of  Tunku 
All's  claims  to  recognition,  and  intimated  that 
he  had  induced  both  the  Sultan  and  the 
Temenggong  to  agree  to  an  arrangement 
under  which  the  reveime,  calculated  at  600 
dollars  ^ej»  mensem,  should  be  divided  between 
the  two  for  a  period  of  three  years,  at  the  ex- 
piration of  which  time  a  new  calculation  should 
be  made.  The  Supreme  Government  on  March 
4,  1853,  sent  a  curious  answer  to  Mr.  Blundell's 
proposal  of  compromise.  They  intimated  that 
they  had  no  concern  with  the  relations  between 
the  Sultan  and  the  Temenggong,  but  that  "  if 
the  arbitration  in  question  should  be  proposed 
and  the  Temenggong  should  be  willing  to 
purchase  entire  sovereignty  by  a  sacrifice  of 
revenue  in  favour  of  the  Sultan,  the  Governor- 
General  in  Council  conceives  that  the  measure 
would  be  a  beneficial  one  to  all  parties.'' 
There  was,  of  course,  no  question  of  the 
Temenggong  purchasing  entire  sovereignty  by 
a  sacrifice  of  revenue.  What  had  been  sug- 
gested was  an  amicable  agreement  as  to  reve- 
nues of  which  the  Sultan  had  hitherto  been,  to 
adopt  Colonel  Butterworth's  phrase,  "  irregu- 
larly "  deprived.  Broadly  speaking,  however, 
the  despatch  may  be  accepted  as  sanctioning 
the  proposal  put  forward  by  Mr.  Blundell.  An 
mterval  of  some  months  elapsed  after  the 
receipt  of  the  communication,  and  when  the 
subject  again  figures  on  the  records  it  assumes 
a  different  aspect.  Colonel  Butterworth,  who 
had  been  away  on  leave,  finding  Tunku  Ali 
"  entangled  with  an  European  merchant  at 
Singapore,"  declined  to  arbitrate,  and  went  to 
Pinang.  Afterwards  negotiations  apparently 
were  carried  on  by  Mr.  Church,  the  Resident 
Councillor,  and  finally,  as  an  outcome  of  them, 
a  proposal  was  submitted  to  the  Supreme 
Government  that  Tunku  Ali  should  be  installed 
as  Sultan,  should  be  allowed  to  retain  a  small 
strip  of  territory  known  as  Kesang  Muar,  in 
which  the  graves  of  his  ancestors  were  situated, 
that  he  should  receive  S,ooo  dollars  in  cash,  and 
that  he  should  be  paid  500  dollars  a  month  in 
perpetuity.  In  consideration  of  these  conces- 
sions he  was  to  renounce  absolutely  all  sove- 
reign rights  in  Johore.  After  a  considerable 
amount  of  negotiation  between  the  parties 
these  terms  were  embodied  in  a  treaty  dated 
March  10,  1855,  which  Tunku  Ali  reluctantly 
signed.  Sir  Frank  Swettenham,  whose  sym- 
pathies are  very  strongly  displayed  on  the  side 
of  the  Sultan,  significantly  mentions  that  the 
annual  revenues  of  Johore  "have  amounted  to 
over  a  million  dollars  for  some  years,  and  they 
are  now  probably  about  1,200,000  dollars,  or, 
say,  ;^i40,ooo."  The  later  phases  of  this  dis- 
agreeable episode  may  be  related  in  his  words. 
"  Sultan  Ali  is  dead,  and  his  son  would  still  be 
in  receipt  of  500  dollars  a  month  from  Johore 

(originally  about  ;£r,200  a  year),  but  the  district 
of  Muar  has  also  passed  away  from  him  and 
his  family  to  the  Temenggong's  successors. 
When  that  further  transfer  took  place  about 
twenty  years  ago,  the  allowance  was  by  the 
efforts  of  Governor  Sir  Wm.  Robinson  raised 
to  1,250  dollars  a  month,  divided  amongst  the 
late  Sultan's  family.  Lastly,  it  must  be  noted 
that,  though  the  second  condition  in  the  terms 
submitted  by  the  Temenggong  on  April  3, 
1854,  read, '  Tunku  Ali,  his  heirs  and  successors  to 
be  recognised  as  Sultan  of  Johore,'  the  son  and 
heir  of  Sultan  Ali  was  never  more  than  Tunku 
Alam,  while  the  son  and  heir  of  the  Temeng- 
gong became  '  the  Sultan  of  the  state  and  terri- 
tory of  Johore,'  and  that  is  the  title  held  by  his 
grandson,  the  present  Sultan.  The  grandson 
of  Sultan  Ali  is  to-day  Tunku  Mahmud.  If 
Sultan  Ali  sold  his  birthright  in  1855  to  secure 
the  recognition  of  his  title  by  the  Government 
of  India  he  made  a  poor  bargain.  The  Govern- 
ment of  India  loftily  disclaimed  any  concern 
with  the  relations  between  the  Sultan  and  the 
Temenggong  ;  however  indifferent  the  plea,  it 
is  one  to  which  neither  the  local  nor  the  British 
Government  can  lay  any  claim  in  their  subse- 
quent proceedings." 


Establishment  or  the  Crown  Colony 


Whilk  this  act  of  injustice  was  being  perpe- 
trated the  sands  of  the  Indian  government  of 
the  Straits  Settlements  were  running  out.  In 
the  two  and  a  half  centuries  of  its  connection 
with  the  archipelago  the  East  India  Company 
had  never  shown  conspicuous  judgment  in  its 
dealings  with  its  possessions.  Its  successes 
were  achieved  in  spite  of  its  policy  rather  than 
because  of  it,  and  if  there  is  one  thing  more 
certain  than  another  about  these  valuable  pos- 
sessions of  the  Crown,  it  is  that  they  would  not 
be  to-day  under  the  British  flag  if  the  govern- 
ing power,  represented  by  the  autocracy  of 
Leadenhall  Street,  had  had  their  way.  The 
failings  of  the  system  did  not  diminish  with 
age  ;  rather  they  developed  in  mischievous 
strength  as  the  settlement  grew  and  flourished. 
The  mercantile  community  chafed  for  years 
under  the  restrictions,  financial  and  adminis- 
trative, imposed  upon  the  colony.  At  length,  on 
the  outbreak  of  the  Indian  Mutiny,  the  feeling 
burst  out  into  an  open  movement  for  the  trans- 
fer of  the  administration  from  the  Government 
of  India  to  the  Crown.  The  petition  presented 
to  the  House  of  Commons  in  1858  as  a  result 
of  the  agitation  based  the  desire  for  a  change 
in  the  system  of  administration  on  the  syste- 
matic disregard  of  the  wants  and  wishes  of  the 
inhabitants  by  the  Government  of  India,  and 
the  disposition  of  the  Calcutta  authorities  to 
treat  all  questions  from  an  exclusively  Indian 
point  of  view.  It  was  pointed  out  that  the 
settlements  were  under  the  control  of  a 
Governor  appointed  by  the  Governor-General. 
"  Without  any  council  to  advise  or  assist  him, 
this  officer  has  paramount  authority  within  the 
settlements,  and  by  his  reports  and  suggestions 
the  Supreme  Government  and  Legislative 
Council   are    in   a  great  measure    guided    in 

dealing  with  the  affairs  of  these  settlements. 
It  may,  and  indeed  does  in  reality  frequently, 
happen  that  this  functionary,  from  caprice, 
temper,  or  defective  judgment,  is  opposed  to 
the  wishes  of  the  whole  community,  yet  in  any 
conflict  of  opinion  so  arising  his  views  are 
almost  invariably,  adopted  by  the  Supreme 
Government  upon  statements  and  representa- 
tions which  the  public  have  no  knowledge  of 
and  no  opportunity  of  impugning."  The  me- 
morialists pointed  out  that  measures  of  a  most 
obnoxious  and  harmful  character  had  been 
introduced  by  the  Government  of  India,  and 
had  only  been  defeated  by  the  direct  appeal  of 
the  inhabitants  to  the  authorities  at  home. 
Moreover,  Singapore  had  been  made  a  dump- 
ing ground  for  the  worst  class  of  convicts  from 
continental  India,  and  these,  owing  to  the 
imperfect  system  of  discipline  maintained, 
exercised  a  decidedly  injurious  influence  on 
the  community.  In  a  statement  appended  to 
the  report  it  was  shown  that,  exclusive  of  dis- 
bursements for  municipal  purposes,  the  expen- 
diture in  1855-56  amounted  tO;^i3i,375,  against 
an  income  of  ;^i03,i87,  but  it  was  shown  that 
the  deficiency  was  more  than  accounted  for  by 
charges  aggregating  ;£'75,358  imposed  for  mili- 
tary, marine,  and  convict  establishments — 
"  charges  which  are  never  made  against  a 
local  reveime  in  a  royal  colony." 

Lord  Canning,  in  a  despatch  discussing  the 
question  raised  by  the  petition,  wrote  in  favour 
of  the  change.  The  only  object  which  he 
could  conceive  for  maintaining  the  govern- 
ment of  the  Straits  Settlements  on  its  then 
footing  was  to  have  all  the  possessions  in  the 
East  under  one  control.  But,  he  pointed  out, 
this  consideration  was  quite  as  applicable  to 
Ceylon,  which  had  not  in  recent  times  been 
under  the  Government  of  India.  He  went  at 
length  into  the  whole  question  of  the  transfer, 
and  then  summarised  his  views  in  this  form  : 
"  I  consider  it  to  be  established,  first,  that  no 
good  and  sufficient  reasons  now  exist  for  con- 
tinuing the  Straits  Settlements  on  their  present 
footing  ;  secondly,  that  very  strong  reasons 
exist  for  withdrawing  them  from  the  control  of 
the  Indian  Government  and  transferring  them 
to  the  Colonial  Office  ;  and,  thirdly,  that  there 
are  no  objections  to  the  transfer  which  should 
cause  her  Majesty's  Government  to  hesitate  in 
adopting  a  measure  calculated  to  be  so  advan- 
tageous to  the  settlements  themselves."  The 
Indian  Government  asked  to  be  reimbursed 
the  cost  of  new  recently  erected  barracks  for 
European  troops  ;  but  the  Home  Government 
objected  to  this,  and  the  point  was  waived  by 
the  Indian  authorities.  Even  then  the  Imperial 
Government  were  not  at  all  eager  to  accept  the 
charge.  They  haggled  over  the  cost  which,  in 
their  shortsighted  vision,  the  settlements  were 
likely  to  impose  upon  the  imperial  exchequer. 
The  Duke  of  Newcastle,  the  then  Colonial 
Secretary,  in  a  despatch  on  the  subject,  esti- 
mated the  probable  deficiency  in  the  revenue  at 
from  ^30,000  to  ;^5o,ooo.  But  in  his  calculation 
was  included  an  extravagant  contribution  for 
military  purposes.  It  did  not  dawn  upon  the 
sapient  rulers  of  that  day  that  there  was  an 
imperial  interest  in  maintaining  a  fortress  at 
the  entrance  to  the  Straits  of  Malacca  through 
which  the  world's  trade  from  the  West  to  the 
East  passes.     It  was  left  to  Lord  Beaconsfield, 



in  an  eloquent  passage  of  a  memorable  speech, 
to  bring  home  to  the  people  of  Great  Britain 
the  vast  strategic  value  of  Singapore. 

The  financial  doubts  raised  by  the  Home 
Government  led  to  the  despatch  to  the  Straits  of 
Sir  Hercules  Robinson  (afterwards  Lord  Ros- 
mead)  to  investigate  on  the  spot  a  point  which 
really  should  have  been  plain  enough  if  the 
Colonial  Office  had  been  endowed  with  ordi- 
nary discernment.  Sir  Hercules  Robinson's 
report  was  favourable,  and  the  Government, 
acting  upon  it,  passed  through  Parliament  in 
the  session  of  1866  a  measure  legalising  the 
status  of  the  three  settlements  as  a  Crown 
colony,  under  a  governor  aided  by  a  legislative 
council  of  the  usual  Crown  colony  type.  The 
actual  transfer  was  made  on  April  i,  1867.  It 
was  preceded  by  some  rather  discreditable 
blundering  in  reference  to  the  executive.  The 
arrangement  made  between  the  India  and  the 
Colonial  Offices  was  that  all  uncovenanted 
officials  should  remain,  but  that  the  covenanted 
servants  should  revert  to  their  original  appoint- 
ments in  India. 

The  functionaries  concerned  were  not  for- 
mally notified  of  the  change,  but  were  left  to 
gather  the  information  from  the  newspapers. 
Even  then  they  did  not  know  the  conditions 
under  which  their  transfer  was  to  be  carried 
out.  The  question  was  raised  in  the  House  of 
Commons  on  March  8,  1867.  In  the  course  of 
the  discussion  Mr.  John  Stuart  Mill  commented 
severely  on  the  action  of  the  Government  in 
withdrawing  these  experienced  officials  at  a 
time  when  their  knowledge  of  local  affairs 
would  be  of  great  value.  "  He  wanted  to 
know  what  the  colonial  system  was.  He 
hoped  and  trusted  there  was  no  such  thing. 
How  could  there  be  one  system  for  the  govern- 
ment of  Demerara,  Mauritius,  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope,  Ceylon,  and  Canada  ?  What  was 
the  special  fitness  of  a  gentleman  who  had 
been  employed  in  the  administration  of  the 
affairs  of  one  of  those  colonies  for  the  govern- 
ment of  another  of  which  he  knew  nothing, 
and  in  regard  to  which  his  experience  in  other 
places  could  supply  him  with  no  knowledge  ? 
What  qualifications  had  such  a  man  that  should 
render  it  necessary  to  appoint  him  to  transact 
business  of  which  he  knew  nothing"  in  the 
place  of  gentlemen  who  did  understand  it,  and 
who  had  been  carrying  it  on,  not  certainly  upon 
the-  Indian  system,  and  he  believed  upon  no 
system  whatever  but  the  Straits  Settlements 
system  ?'"'  As  a  result  probably  of  this  protest 
the  arrangement  for  the  withdrawal  of  the 
old  officials  was  not  carried  out.  But  the 
Government,  instead  of  appointing  as  the 
first  Governor  some  man  acquainted  with  the 
peculiar  conditions  of  the  Straits,  sent  out  as 
head  of  the  new  administration  Colonel  Sir 
Harry  Ord,  C.B.,  an  officer  of  the  corps  of 
Royal  Engineers,  whose  administrative  experi- 
ence had  been  gained  chiefly  on  the  West 
Coast  of  Africa.  Though  an  able  man,  Sir 
Harry  Ord  lacked  the  qualities  essential  for 
dealing  with  a  great  mercantile  community. 
He  was  autocratic,  brusque,  and  contemptuously 
indifferent  to  public  opinion.  Moreover,  he 
had  an  extravagant  sense  of  what  was  necessary 
to  support  the  dignity  of  his  office,  and  rushed 
the  colony  into  expenditure  which  was  in 
excess  of  what  it  ought  to   have  been  called 

SIR    HAEBY    OBD.. 

(First  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settlements  under  the 
Crown  Colony  system.  Taken  at  Government 
House.  Singapore,  in  1869.) 

region  of  small  commercial  importance.  The 
penalty  of  our  shortsightedness  in  making  the 
bargain  was  paid  in  the  Ashanti  War,  and  it  is 
small  consolation  to  reflect  that  the  Dutch  on 
their  side  have  found  the  transaction  even  less 
advantageous,  since  they  have  been  involved 
in  practically  continuous  warfare  with  the 
Achinese  ever  since.  Sir  Harry  Ord  erred  in 
this  matter  and  in  others  of  less  importance 
through  a  blindness  to  the  great  imperial 
interests  which  centre  in  the  Straits.  But  it 
must  be  conceded  that  his  vigorous  administra- 
tion, judged  from  the  standpoint  of  finance,  was 
brilliantly  successful.  When  he  assumed  office 
the  colony  was,  as  we  have  seen,  not  paying 
its  way,  and  there  was  so  little  prospect  of  its 
doing  so  that  the  Home  Government  hesitated 
to  assume  the  burden.  On  the  conclusion  of 
his  term  of  office  the  revenue  of  the  settlements 
exceeded  the  expenditure  by  a  very  respectable 
sum.  His  administration,  in  fact,  marked  the 
turning-point  in  the  history  of  the  Straits. 
From  that  period  the  progress  of  the  colony 
has  been  continuous,  and  the  teasing  doubts  of 
timid  statesmen  have  changed  to  a  feeling  of 
complacent  satisfaction  at  the  contemplation  of 
balance-sheets  indicative  of  an  enduring  pros- 

Some  facts  and  figures  may  here  be  ap- 
propriately introduced  to  illustrate  the  mar- 
vellous development  of  the  settlements  since 
the  introduction  of  Crown  government.  The 
financial  and  trade  position  is  clearly  shown 
in  the  following  table  given  in  Sir  Frank 
Swettenham's  work  and  brought  up  to  date 
by  the  inclusion  of  the  latest  figures  : 

Expenditure  in 



Revenue  in  Dollars. 

Value  of  Imports 

Value  of  E.xports 

ill  Dollars. 

in  Dollars. 












































































upon  to  bear.  His  worst  defect,  however,  was 
his  ignorance  of  Malay  affairs.  Knowing 
nothing  of  the  special  conditions  of  the  archi- 
pelago and  of  the  peculiar  characteristics  of  the 
inhabitants  of  the  colony,  he  perpetrated  many 
blunders  which  a  man  differently  equipped 
would  have  avoided.  His  worst  mistake  was 
his  support  of  the  exchange  of  our  interests  in 
Sumatra  for  Dutch  concessions  which  made  us 
masters  of  the  inhospitable  wastes  of  the  Gold 
Coast  in  West  Africa.  By  this  transfer  we 
renounced  rights  centuries  old  in  one  of  the 
richest  island,  of  the  tropics  for  the  dubious 
privilege  of  exercising  supremacy  over  hostile 
tribes  and    a  dominion    over  a   fever-stricken 

After  the  grant  of  Crown  government  to  the 
settlements  the  administration  broadened  out 
into  a  system  which,  as  years  went  by,  became 
more  and  more  comprehensive  of  the  interests 
of  Malaya.  In  other  sections  of  the  work  will 
be  found  a  detailed  description  of  the  origin 
and  growth  of  the  existing  arrangements  by 
which  to  the  government  of  the  three  original 
settlements  is  added  the  control  of  the  Protected 
Malay  States,  a  vast  territory  rich  in  mineral 
and  agricultural  wealth  and  of  high  future  com- 
mercial promise.  All  that  it  is  necessary  to 
note  here  is  that  the  marvellous  development 
of  this  important  area  had  its  natural  influence 
on  the  trade  of  Singapore  as  the  chief  port  of 



the  Straits.  Another  and  slill  more  potent 
factor  was  the  opening  of  the  Suez  Canal  and 
the  consequent  impetus  given  to  steam  naviga- 
tion. In  1868  the  tonnage  of  Singapore  was 
1,300,000  ;  twenty  years  later  it  had  increased 
to  6,200,000  ;  and  to-day,  after  another  twenty 
years,  it  is  over  13,000,000  tons.  The  popula- 
tion of  the  city  has  shown  an  equally  remarkable 
increase.  In  1857  an  official  return  issued  by 
the  Supreme  Government  placed  the  number  of 
the  inhabitants  at  57,421.  Each  successive  year 
there  was  a  large  accession  to  the  number  of 
inhabitants  until  1881,  when  the  census  showed 
a  population  of  139,308.  .  Ten  years  later  the 
number  of  inhabitants  had  risen  to  184,554,  ^"d 
in  1901  the  return  gave  a  population  of  228,555. 
To-day  the  population  of  Singapore  is  estimated 
to  be  above  250,000,  or  nearly  five  times  what 
it  was  fifty  years  since.  Remarkable  as  the 
growth  of  the  port  has  been  in  the  past,  its 
progress  seems  likely  to  be  not  less  rapid  in  the 
future.  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  anticipates  the 
time  when  Singapore  will  have  at  least  a 
million  inhabitants.  As  it  is,  the  port — in  the 
volume  of  its  trade — is  the  largest  in  the  British 
Empire  next  to  London,  Liverpool,  and  Hong- 
kong. Side  by  side  with  commercial  progress 
there  has  been  a  steady  growth  in  municipal 
efficiency.  The  history  of  the  municipality  is 
treated  in  detail  elsewhere,  but  it  may  be  noted 
here  that  the  municipal  revenue,  which  in  1859 
amounted  to  90,407  dollars  against  disburse- 
ments totalling  129,396  dollars,  in  1905  reached 
the  enormous  sum  of  2,149,951  dollars,  as  com- 
pared with  an  expenditure  of  2,158,645  dollars. 
In  the  five  years  ending  1905  the  municipal 
income  was  almost  doubled. 

A  question  hotly  debated  for  a  good  many 
years  in  the  Straits  was  the  contribution  exacted 
by  the  Imperial  Government  from  the  colony 
for  miUtary  defence.  The  view  of  the  settle- 
ments, as  a  purely  local  territory  which  had 
obtained  in  the  years  of  the  East  India 
Company's  administration  was  one  which 
Whitehall  adopted  with  complacency,  and 
forthwith  it  proceeded  to  charge  against  the 
revenues  of  the  colony  the  very  heavy  cost  of 
maintaining  a  garrison  which,  if  it  had  any 
raison  d'etre  at  all,  was  placed  where  it  was 
to  uphold  imperial  as  distinct  from  colonial 
interests.  When  the  Imperial  Government 
assumed  the  control  of  the  colony  the  annual 
contribution  of  the  colony  towards  the  military 
expenses  was  fixed  at  ;^5o,r45.  At  or  about 
this  figure  it  remained  until  1889,  when,  follow- 
ing upon  the  completion  of  an  extensive  system 
of  fortification  associated  with  the  general 
scheme  of  protecting  naval  coaling  stations 
abroad,  the  Colonial  Office  presented  a 
peremptory  demand  for  the  increase  of  the 
contribution  to  £100,000.  There  was  a  feeling 
akin  to  consternation  in  the  settlements  at  the 
action  of  the  imperial  authorities.  With  a 
rapidly  falling  exchange  and  a  practically 
stationary  revenue,  the  doubling  of  the  mili- 
tary contribution  constituted  a  grievous  burden 
upon  the  colony.  The  payment  of  the  larger 
sum  m.eant  the  complete  stoppage  of  many 
useful  works  urgently  needed  in  the  develop- 
ment of  the  settlements.  Alarmed  at  the 
prospect  which  was  opened  up,  and  irritated 
at  the  despotic  manner  in  which  the  change 
was  introduced,  the  mercantile  community  of 

Singapore  set  on  foot  a  vehement  agitation 
against  the  proposal^  Official  opinion  in  the 
colony  was  in  strong  sympathy  with  the 
movement,  but  the  terms  of  the  despatch  of 
Lord  Knutsford,  the  Secretary  for  the  Colonies, 
in  which  the  demand  was  preferred  gave  the 
local  government  no  option  in  the  matter. 
Accordingly  on  February  13,  i8go,  the  neces- 
sary resolution  to  give  effect  to  the  Home 
Government's  views  was  introduced  in  the 
Legislative  Council  and  passed.  The  circum- 
stances under  which  the  vote  was  sanctioned, 
however,  left  no  doubt  as  to  the  view  taken  by 
official  and  non-official  members  alike.  While 
the  latter  delivered  strenuous  protests  against 
the  action  of  the  Imperial  Government  and 
voted  without  exception  against  the  resolution, 
the  former  maintained  an  eloquent  silence. 
The  official  reticence  was  confined  to  the 
debate.  When  the  proceedings  of  the  Council 
were  sent  home  the  Governor,  Sir  Clementi 
Smith,  accompanied  them  with  a  powerfully 
reasoned  plea  against  the  increase,  and  this 
was  supplemented  by  minutes  of  the  same  tenor 
from  other  members  of  the  Government. 


Though  hopelessly  worsted  in  argument. 
Lord  Knutsford  declined  to  be  moved  from 
his  position.  He  brushed  aside  with  a  few 
out-of-date  quotations  of  earlier  opinions  of 
Straits  people  the  view  emphatically  asserted 
in  the  communications  he  had  received  that 
Singapore  is  a  great  imperial  outpost,  the 
maintenance  of  which  in  a  state  of  military 
efficiency  is  an  imperial  rather  than  a  local 
concern.  The  Government,  he  said,  did  not 
think  that  the  contribution  was  excessive  or 
beyond  what  the  colony  could  easily  pay,  and 
they  would  make  no  abatement  in  the  demands 
already  made.  On  the  receipt  of  the  despatch 
(of  January  10,  1891)  embodying  this  decision 
of  the  Colonial  Office  to  persist  in  their  ex- 
tortionate claim,  the  fires  of  agitation  were 
kindled  with  new  vigour  in  Singapore.  When 
the  votes  came  up  at  the  Legislative  Council 
for  sanction  on  March  5,  1891,  strong  language 
was    used    by    the    non-official    members    in 

characterising  the  attitude  assumed  by  the 
Home  Government  on  the  question.  One 
speaker  declared  that  the  interests  of  the 
colony  were  being  "betrayed"  ;  another  re- 
inarked  "that  this  colony  should  be  condemned 
literally  to  groan  under  a  curse  inflicted  upon 
it  by  a  handful  of  people  utterly  ignorant  of 
the  conditions  of  our  society  is  a  disgrace  to 
civilised  government "  ;  while  a  third  reminded 
her  Majesty's  Government  "that  loyalty  is  a 
hardy  plant  which  asks  for  a  fair  field  and  no 
favour ;  it  withers  under  injustice."  Once 
more  a  great  number  of  protests  were  poutgd 
into  the  Colonial  Office  against  the  demand. 
The  only  jarring  note  to  the  chorus  of  con- 
demnatory criticism  was  supplied  by  Sir 
Charles  Warren,  the  officer  commanding  the 
troops,  who  took  the  view  that  the  Singapore 
people  got  good  value  for  their  money  in  the 
military  protection  afforded  them  and  were 
quite  able  to  bear  the  burden.  Lord  Knutsford, 
entrenched  behind  the  ramparts  raised  by  an 
exacting  Treasury,  still  declined  to  make  any 
reduction  in  the  contribution.  He  promised, 
however,  that  "  if  unfortunately  the  revenues 
of  the  colony  should  decrease,"  her  Majesty's 
Government  would  be  prepared  to  review  the 
situation.  The  revenues  of  the  colony  un- 
fortunately did  decrease  in  1890  and  in  1891 
as  compared  with  1889,  and  promptly  a  request 
was  preferred  to  the  Colonial  Office  for  the 
redemption  of  the  pledge. 

After  a  considerable  amount  of  additional 
controversy  and  ^  vigorous  agitation  of  the 
question  both  in  the  Straits  and  at  home, 
the  Marquess  of  Ripon,  who  had  succeeded 
Lord  Knutsford  as  Colonial  Secretary  on  the 
change  of  Government,  in  a  despatch  dated 
November  6,  1894,  announced  that  the  Govern- 
ment were  prepared  to  reduce  the  colonial 
contribution  to  ;£8o,ooo  for  1894  and  £90,000 
for  1895.  At  the  same  time  it  was  intimated 
that  the  contributions  for  the  years  1896-97-98 
were  provisionally  fixed  at  £100,000,  £110,000, 
and  £120,000.  This  re-arrangement  of  the 
contributions  left  the  ultimate  liability  pre- 
cisely where  it  was,  and  not  unnaturally  the 
colony  emphatically  declined  to  accept  Lord 
Ripon's  view  that  "  sensible  relief  "  had  been 
afforded.  A  further  period  of  agitation  fol- 
lowed, culminating  as  a  final  protest  in  the 
resignation  of  three  members  of  the  Legislative 
Council,  of  eighteen  justices  of  the  peace,  and 
of  the  whole  of  the  members  of  the  Chinese 
Advisory  Board — an  important  body  which  is  a 
link  between  the  Government  and  the  Chinese 
community.  This  dramatic  action  convinced 
the  Imperial  Government  at  length  that  the 
inhabitants  of  the  Straits  Settlements  were  in 
earnest  in  their  determination  not  to  submit  to 
the  burden  of  the  heavy  military  contribution. 
In  a  despatch  dated  June  28,  1895,  Lord  Ripon 
intimated  that  the  Government  were  prepared 
lo  settle  the  question  of  a  military  contribution 
on  the  basis  of  an  annual  payment  equivalent 
to  17J  per  cent,  of  the  total  revenue  of  the 
colony.  In  this  arrangement  the  colonists 
were  compelled  perforce  to  acquiesce.  But 
they  have  never  acknowledged  the  justice  of 
the  principle  upon  which  the  payment  is  fixed. 
The  imperial  authorities  on  their  part  have 
every  reason  to  congratulate  themselves  on  the 
change  introduced  in  the  method  of  assessing 



the  payment,  for  the  military  contribution  in 
1905  was  1,(511,585  dollars— practically  double 
the  amount  which  the  colonists  regarded  as 
so  excessive. 

Singapore's  development  as  a  great  imperial 
outpost  and  commercial  entrepot  is  proceeding 
on  lines  commensurate  with  the  magnificence 
of  its  strategical  position  and  the  vastness  of  its 
trade.  The  acquisition  by  Government  of  the 
Tanjong  Pagar  Dock  Company's  property  in 
circumstances  which  are  fully  dealt  with  else- 
where in  these  pages  has  strengthened  the 
naval  position  enormously  by  providing  under 
absolute  Government  control  a  base  for  the 
refitting  and  repair  of  the  largest  vessels  of 
his  Majesty's  navy  in  Far  Eastern  seas.  On 
the  purely  commercial  side  an  equally  im- 
portant step  forward  has  been  taken  by  the 
acceptance  of  the  tender  of  Sir  John  Jackson, 
Ltd.,  for  the  construction  of  new  harbour 
works  involving  an  immediate  expenditure  of 
about  a  million  and  a  quarter  sterling.  With 
these  striking  evidences  that  the  importance  of 

Singapore  both  for  imperial  and  trade  purposes 
is  fully  realised  in  the  highest  quarters,  there  is 
every  reason  to  hope  that  its  future  will  be  one 
of  uninterrupted  and  ever-increasing  prosperity. 
It  has  been  said  that  \ou  cannot  set  limits  to 
the  march  of  a  nation.  He  would  be  a  wise 
man  who  would  set  limits  to  the  march  of 
Singapore.  With  the  great  markets  of  China 
still  to  be  opened  up  to  trade,  and  with  the 
Malay  countries  only  as  yet  in  the  first  stage 
of  their  development,  it  may  very  well  be  that 
the  port,  phenomenal  as  its  past  progress  has 
been,  is  only  on  the  threshold  of  its  career. 
Certainly  nothing  short  of  a  calamity  which  will 
paralyse  the  trade  of  the  world  is  likely  to  put 
a  period  to  its  advancement  to  a  position  in 
the  very  first  rank  of  the  cities  of  the  Empire. 

.A.S  we  began  this  historical  survey  of  Singa- 
pore with  a  reference  to  its  great  founder,  so 
we  may  appropriately  end  it  by  quoting  the 
eloquent  words  used  by  Sir  Frederick  Weld, 
the  then  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settlements,  in 
unveiling  the  Raffles  statue  at  Singapore  on 

the  occasion  of  the  Jubilee  celebration  in  [887. 
"  Look  around,"  said  his  Excellency,  "  and  a 
greater  monument  than  any  that  the  highest  art 
or  the  most  lavish  outlay  can  raise  to  Raffles  is 
visible  in  this,  that  his  name  is  still  held  in 
affectionate  veneration  by  all  our  races,  that  all 
acknowledge  the  benefits  that  have  resulted 
from  his  wise  policy.  See  that  crowd  of 
splendid  shipping  in  the  harbour  in  front  of 
his  statue.  Cast  a  glance  at  the  city  which 
surrounds  it,  on  the  evidences  of  civilisation — 
churches,  public  buildings  and  offices,  law 
courts,  educational  establishments — in  the 
vicinity  of  this  spacious  recreation  ground  on 
which  we  stand  and  near  which  he  landed. 
Were  this  all,  it  would  be  still  sufficient  to  say. 
Si  motnunentum  qiiceris  circumspicc.  But  this 
is  only  a  small  part  of  the  monument.  Look 
for  it  in  other  parts  of  the  colony.  Look  for  it 
in  the  native  States.  .  .  .  Look  for  it  in  the  con- 
stantly increasing  influence  of  the  British  rtame 
in  these  parts,  and  j'ou  will  say  with  me  that  in 
Raffles  England  had  one  of  her  greatest  sons." 


The  Foundation  of  the  Settlement. 

PINANG,  like  Singapore,  owes  its  existence 
as  a  British  possession  mainly  to  the 
statesmanlike  foresight,  energy,  and  diplomatic 
resourcefulness  of  one  man.  Raffles's  prototype 
and  predecessor  in  the  work  of  Empire-building 
in  the  Straits  was  Francis  Light,  a  bold  and 
original  character,  who  passed  from  the 
position  of  trader  and  sea  captain  to  that  of 
administrator  by  one  of  those  easy  transitions 
which  marked  the  history  of  the  East  India 
Company  in  the  eighteenth  century.  Light 
was  born  at  Dallinghoo,  in  Suffolk,  on  Decem- 
ber 15,  1740.  His  parentage  is  somewhat 
obscure,  though  the  presumption  is  that  he 
came  of  a  good  stock,  for  he  claimed  as  a 
relative  William  Negus,  son  of  Colonel  Francis 
Negus,  who  held  high  office  in  the  court  of 
George  I.,  and  who  was  the  owner  of  extensive 
estatesatDallinghoo  and  Melton.  Light  received 
his  early  education  at  the  Woodbridge  Grammar 
School,  and  afterwards  was  sent  into  the  navy, 
serving  as  midshipman  on  H.M.S.  Arrogant. 
In  1765  he  quitted  the  service  and  went  out  to 
India,  to  seek  his  fortune,  after  the  manner  of 
many  well-bred  young  men  of  that  day. 
.Arrived  at  Calcutta,  he  was  given  the  command 
of  a  ship  trading  between  India,  Lower  Siam, 
and  the  Malay  port^.  From  that  time  forward 
he  found  practically  exclusive  employment  in 
the  Straits  trade.  An  excellent  linguist,  he 
speedily  acquired  the  Siamese  and  Malay 
languages,  and  through  their  medium,  assisted 
no  doubt  by  the  sterling  integrity  of  his  char- 
acter, he  won  the  confidence  of  the  native 
chiefs.  His  headquarters  for  a  good  many 
years  were  at  Salang,  or  Junk  Ceylon,  as  it 
was  then  known,  a  large  island  on  the  north- 
west side  of  the  peninsula.  Here  he  lived 
amongst  the  Malay  population,  honoured  and 
respected.     The  ties  of  intimacy  thus  formed 

with  the  native  population  brought  abundant 
fruit  in  a  prosperous  trade  and,  what  is  more 
to  our  immediate  purpose,  a  close  personal 
knowledge  of  native  politics.  Experience  of 
the  Straits  taught  him,  as  it  taught  Raffles  a 
good  many  years  later,  that  if  British  influence 
was  to  hold  its  own  against  Dutch  exclusive- 
ness  a  more  efficient  and  central  settlement 
than   Bencoolen  must  be  found.      Impressed 

(From  a  portrait  in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

with  this  idea  he,  in  1771,  laid  a  definite  pro- 
posal before  Warren  Hastings,  the  then 
Governor-General,  for  the  acquisition  of 
Pinang  as  "a  convenient  magazine  for  Eastern 
trade."  The  great  man  had  already,  in  his 
statesmanlike  vision,  seen  the  necessity  of 
planting  the  British  flag  more  firmly  in  this 
sphere  of  the  Company's  influence.  But  for 
some  reason  Light's  proposal  was  coldly  re- 
ceived. Undismayed  by  the  rebuff.  Light 
continued  to  press  the  importance  of  establish- 
ing a  new  settlement,  and  in  1780  he  proceeded 

to  Calcutta  to  lay  before  Hastings  a  definite 
scheme  for  the  creation  of  a  British  port  on 
Salang.  The  illustrious  administrator  received 
him  kindly,  and  probably  would  have  fallen  in 
with  his  views  had  not  the  outbreak  of  war 
with  the  French  and  the  Dutch  diverted  his 
attention  to  more  pressing  issues.  The  matter 
was  shelved  for  some  years,  and  then  Mr. 
Kinloch  was  despatched  by  the  Supreme 
Government  to  Achin  to  attempt  to  found  a 
settlement  in  that  part  of  the  Straits.  The  mis- 
sion was  an  entire  failure  owing  to  the  hostile 
attitude  assumed  by  the  natives.  Light  chanced 
to  be  in  Calcutta  on  Mr.  Kinloch's  return,  and 
he  seized  the  opportunity  afforded  by  the  con- 
tretemps of  again  pressing  the  desirability  of 
the  acquisition  of  Pinang  upon  the  attention 
of  the  authorities.  In  a  communication  on  the 
subject  dated  February  15,  1786,  he  pointed  out 
to  the  Government  that  the  Dutch  had  been  so 
active  in  their  aggression  that  there  was  no 
place  left  to  choose  from  but  Junk  Ceylon, 
.A.chin,  and  Quedah  (Kedah).  He  went  on  to 
show  that  .\chin  could  not  be  adopted  without 
subduing  all  the  chiefs,  and  that  if  Junk  Ceylon 
were  chosen  it  would  take  six  or  seven  years 
to  clear  the  jungle  sufficiently  to  furnish  enough 
produce  to  supply  the  needs  of  the  fleet,  though 
the  island  was  rich  in  minerals  and  could  be 
easily  fortified.  There  remained  for  considera- 
tion Quedah,  or  (as  in  deference  to  modern 
spelling  we  had  better  call  it)  Kedah,  and  in 
regard  to  this  situation  Light  stated  that  he 
was  able  to  report  that  the  Sultan  of  Kedah 
had  agreed  to  cede  the  island  of  Pinang.  He 
enclosed  a  letter  from  the  Sultan,  in  which  the 
chief  set  forth  the  terms  upon  which  he  was 
willing  to  make  the  cession.  The  communica- 
tion was  as  follows  : — 

"Whereas  Captain  Light,  Dewa  Raja,  came 
here  and  informed  me  that  the  Rajah  of  Bengal 
ordered  him  to  request  Pulau  Pinang  from  me 
to    make   an    English   settlement,    where   the 



agents  of  the  Company  might  reside  for  the 
purpose  of  trading  and  building  ships  of  war  to 
protect  the  island  and  to  cruise  at  sea,  so  that  if 
any  enemies  of  ours  from  the  east  or  the  west 

COL.    ■WILLIAM    LIGHT,    SON    OP    THE 


(From  a  portrait  in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

should  come  to  attack  us  the  Company  would 
regard  them  as  enemies  also  and  fight  them,  and 
all  the  expenses  of  such  wars  shall  be  borne  by 
the  Company.     All  ships,  junks  or  prows,  large 

and  small,  which  come  from  the  east  or  the 
west  and  wish  to  enter  the  Kedah  river  to  trade 
shall  not  be  molested  or  obstructed  in  any  way 
by  the  Company,  but  all  persons  desirous  of 
coming  to  trade  with  us  shall  be  allowed  to  do 
as  they  please  ;  and  at  Pulau  Pinang  the 

"  The  articles  of  opium,  tin,  and  rattans  are 
monopolies  of  our  own,  and  the  rivers  Muda, 
Prai  and  Krian  are  the  places  from  whence  tin, 
rattans,  cane,  besides  other  articles,  are  obtained. 
When  the  Company's  people,  therefore,  shall 
reside  at  Pulau  Pinang,  I  shall  lose  the  benefit 
of  this  monopoly,  and  I  request  the  captain  will 
explain  this  to  the  Governor-General,  and  beg,  as 
a  compensation  for  my  losses,  30,000  dollars  a 
year  to  be  paid  annually  to  me  as  long  as  the 
Company  reside  at  Pulau  Pinang.  I  shall  permit 
the  free  export  of  all  sorts  of  provisions,  and 
timber  for  shipbuilding. 

"Moreover,  if  any  of  the  agents  of  the  Com- 
pany make  loans  or  advances  to  any  of  the 
nobles,  chiefs,  or  rajahs  of  the  Kedah  country, 
the  Company  shall  not  hold  me  responsible  for 
any  such  advances.  Should  any  one  in  this 
country  become  my  enemy,  even  my  own 
children,  all  such  shall  be  considered  as  enemies 
also  of  the  Company  ;  the  Company  shall  not 
alter  their  engagements  of  alliance  so  long  as 
the  heavenly  bodies  continue  to  perform  their 
revolutions  ;  and  when  any  enemies  attack  us 
from  the  interior,  they  also  shall  be  considered 
as  enemies  of  the  Company.  I  request  from  the 
Company  men  and  powder,  shot,  arms,  large 
and    small,    also   money    for  the   purpose   of 

carrying  on  the  war,  and  when  the  business  is 
settled  I  will  repay  the  advances.  Should  these 
propositions  be  considered  proper  and  acceptable 
to  the  Governor-General,  he  may  send  a  confi- 
dential agent  to  Pulau  Pinang  to  reside  ;  but  if 
the  Governor-General  does  not  approve  of  the 
terms  and  conditions  of  this  engagement  let 
him  not  be  oflfended  with  me.  Such  are  my 
wishes  to  be  made  known  to  the  Company,  and 
this  treaty  must  be  faithfully  adhered  to  till  the 
most  distant  times." 

The  Government  were  impressed,  as  well  they 
might  be,  with  the  facts  and  the  letter  brought 
to  their  notice  by  Light,  and  in  a  little  more 
than  a  week  from  the  receipt  of  his  communi- 
cation the  Governor-General  formally  expressed 
his  approval  of  the  scheme  for  the  setllement  of 
Pinang  on  the  terms  outlined.  The  Govern- 
ment themselves  appear  to  have  earlier  un- 
successfully endeavoured  to  obtain  a  grant  of 
the  island  from  the  Sultan,  and  there  were  many 
speculations  at  the  time  as  to  the  means  by 
which  Light  had  succeeded  where  the 
authorities  had  failed.  Out  of  the  gossip  of  the 
period  arose  a  romantic  but  quite  apocryphal 
story  that  Light  had  received  the  island  as  a 
dower  with  his  bride,  who  was  a  daughter  of 
the  Sultan.  Light  had  certainly  married  a 
daughter  of  the  country  a  few  years  before  this 
period  in  the  person  of  Martina  Rozells,  a  ladv 
of  Siamese-Portuguese  or  Malay-Portuguese 
descent,  but  she  was  not  related  to  the  Raja  of 
Kedah,  and  she  was  not  a  princess.  Romance, 
however,  dies  hard,  and  so  it  is  that  the  tradi- 
tion of  royal  ancestry  for  Light's  descendants 

(Sketch  by  Captain  R.  Elliott,  R.X.,  published  in  Fisher's  "  Views  in  India   China,  and  the  Shores  of  the  Red  Sea.") 



has  been  handed  down  until  we  meet  with  it  in 
an  official  publication  so  recent  as  the  last 
catalogue  of  the  National  Portrait  Gallery, 
where  Colonel  Light,  the  founder  of  Adelaide, 
Francis  Light's  eldest  son,  is  described  as 
"Son  of  a  commander  in  the  Indian  navy  and 
a  Malayan  princess." 

Light,  having  convinced  the  authorities  that 
the  time  had  come  for  action,  found  them  eager 
to  carry  the  negotiations  through  with  as  little 
delay  as  possible.  Early  in  May,  1786,  he 
sailed  from  Calcutta  with  definite  instructions 
to  complete  the  engagement  with  the  Sultan  of 
Kedah  for  the  cession  of  Pinang.  He  reached 
Kedah  Roads  near  Alor  Star  on  June  29th,  and 
landed  on  the  following  morning  under  a  salute 
from  the  fort  and  three  volleys  from  the 
marines.  A  leading  official  received  him,  and 
from  him  he  learned  that  war  was  proceeding 
between  Siam  and  Burma,  and  that  the  Sultan 
feared  that  he  himself  might  be  involved. 
Light  re-embarked  and  landed  again  on  the  ist 
of  July  in  due  slate.  There  was  some  little 
delay  in  his  reception  by  the  Sultan,  owing  to 
the  state  officials  demurring  to  the  presents 
which  Light  brought  on  the  ground  of  their  in- 
adequacy. Eventually,  on  the  3rd  of  July  Light 
was  ushered  into  the  Sultan's  presence.  He 
found  him  greatly  troubled  at  a  passage  in  the 
Governor-General's  letter  which  seemed  to  him 
to  threaten  pains  and  penalties  if  the  arrange- 
ment was  not  made.  Light  diplomatically 
smoothed  the  matter  over,  and  the  treaty  was 
duly  signed,  subject   to  the  approval   of   the 

authorities  in  London.  On  the  loth  of  July 
Light  took  leave  of  the  Sultan,  and  four  days 
later,  having  re-embarked  his  escort  and  suite, 
proceeded  in  the  Eliza,  the  Prince  Henry  and 
the  Speedwell  accompanying  him,  to  Pinang. 
The  little  flotilla  dropped  anchor  in  the  harbour 
within  musket  shot  of  the  shore  on  the  15th  of 
July.  Two  days  later  Lieutenant  Gray,  of  the 
Speedwell,  with  a  body  of  marines,  disembarked 
on  Point  Pinaggar,  a  low  sandy  tongue  of  land, 
which  is  considered  by  some  to  be  now  the 
Esplanade,  but  which  is  by  Messrs.  Cullin  and 
Zehnder  deemed  to  be  the  land  near  the  Fort 
Point,  between  the  end  of  Light  Street  and  the 
Iron  Wharf  opposite  the  Government  buildings. 
Lieutenant  Gray's  advance  party  was  reinforced 
on  the  following  day  by  the  p;uropeans,  and 
thenceforward  the  work  of  establishing  the 
occupation  proceeded  with  the  utmost  expedi- 
tion. Soon  a  little  town  of  atap  houses  arose 
about  the  shore,  with,  on  one  side,  a  small 
bazaar  accommodating  a  number  of  Kedah 
traders  who  had  been  attracted  to  the  spot  by 
the  prospect  of  lucrative  business.  The  artillery 
and  stores  were  landed  on  the  nth  of  August, 
and  H.M.S.  Valentine  opportunely  arriving  in 
harbour  the  same  day.  Light  deemed  that  the 
occasion  was  auspicious  for  taking  formal  pos- 
session of  the  island.  The  ceremony  took  place 
about  noon,  the  captains  of  the  ships  in  harbour 
and  some  gentlemen  passengers,  with  a  body  of 
marines  and  artillerymen,  assisting.  After  the 
Union  Jack  had  been  hoisted  on  the  flagstaff  and 
the  artillery  and  the  ships  had  thundered  out  a 

salute,  the  proclamation  was  made  that  the 
island  in  future  would  be  known  as  Prince  of 
Wales  Island,  in  honour  of  the  Heir  Apparent 
(afterwards  George  IV.),  whose  birthday  fell  the 



(Governor-General  of  India  during  the  period  immediately 

following  the  occupation  of  Pinang.     From  a  portrait 

in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

next  day,  and  that  the  capital  would  be  known 
as  Georgetown,  out  of  compliment  to  the  sove- 
reign, George  III.  There  were  mutual  con- 
gratulations on  the  birth  of  the  new  settlement, 

(From  Daniell's  "  Views  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island,"  published  early  in  the  nineteenth  century.) 



which  everyone  recognised  was  destined  to  have 
before  it  a  useful  career. 

The  faith  of  Light  and  his  associates  in  the 
future  of  the  settlement  was  based  rather  on  an 
appreciation  of  the  natural  advantages  of  the 
situation  than  on  any  material  attractions  in 
the  island  itself.  Truth  to  tell,  the  Pinang  of 
that  day  was  little  better  than  an  uninhabited 
waste.  Supplies  of  all  kinds  had  to  be  obtained 
from  Kedah,  for  there  was  practically  no  culti- 
vation. Roads  of  course  there  were  none,  not 
even  of  the  most  rudimentary  description.  The 
interior  was  a  thick  jungle,  through  which 
every  step  taken  by  civilisation  would  have  to 
be  by  laborious  efifort.  Still,  the  town  was  laid 
out  with  a  complete  belief  in  the  permanency  of 
the  occupation.  To  each  of  the  native  nation- 
alities separate  quarters  were  allotted.  The 
European  or  official  quarter  was  marked  out  on 
imposing  lines.  As  a  residence  for  himself  and 
a  home  for  future  chief  administrators  of  the 
colony  Light  built  a  capacious  dwelling,  which 
he  called,  in  compliment  to  the  county  of  his 
birth,  Suffolk  House.and  which,  standing  in  park- 
like grounds,  bore  more  than  a  passing  resem- 
blance to  the  comfortable  country  houses  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Melton,  in  Suffolk,  with  which 
he  was  familiar.  The  new  settlement  early 
attracted  emigrants  from  various  parts.  From 
Kedah  came  a  continual  stream,  prominent 
amongst  the  intending  settlers  being  a  consi- 
derable number  of  Indians,  or  Chulias  as  they 
were  then  known.  Malays,  good  and  bad,  put 
in  an  appearance  from  various  quarters,  and  a 
French  missionary  transferred  himself  with  his 
entire  flock  from  the  mainland  with  Ihe  full  ap- 
proval of  Light,  who  thoroughly  realised  that  the 
broader  the  base  upon  which  the  new  settlement 
was  built  the  more  prosperous  it  was  likely  to 
be.  Almost  every  ship  from  the  south  brought, 
too,  a  contingent  of  Chinese.  They  would 
have  come  in  much  larger  numbers  but  for  the 
vigilance  of  the  Dutch,  who  were  jealous  of  the 
new  port  and  did  their  utmost  to  destroy  its 
prospects  of  success.  In  spite  of  this  and  other 
obstacles  the  settlement  grew  steadily.  Within 
two  years  of  the  occupation  there  were  over  400 
acres  of  land  under  cultivation,  and  a  year  or  so 
later  the  population  of  the  settlement  was  re- 
turned at  the"  respectable  figure  of  io,ooo.  The 
trade  of  the  port  within  a  few  years  of  the 
hoisting  of  the  British  flag  was  of  the  value  of 
more  than  a  million  Spanish  dollars. 

Associated  with  the  early  history  of  Pinang 
is  a  notable  achievement  by  Admiral  Sir  Home 
Riggs  Pophara  which  created  a  great  stir  at  the 
time.  Popham,  who  at  that  period  was  engaged 
in  private  trade,  in  1791  undertook  to  carry  a 
cargo  of  rice  from  Calcutta  to  the  Malabar  coast 
for  the  use  of  the  army  employed  there.  He 
was  driven  oul  of  his  course  by  the  monsoon 
and  compelled  to  bear  up  for  Pinang.  While 
his  ship  was  refitting  Popham  made  an  exact  sur- 
vey of  the  island  and  discovered  a  new  channel 
to  the  southward,  through  which,  in  the  early 
part  pf  1792,  he  piloted  the  Company's  fleet  to 
China.  His  services  earned  for  him  the  grati- 
tude of  the  East  India  Company  and  the  more 
substantial  reward  of  a  gold  cup,  presented  by 
the  Governor-General.  Popham  was  one  of 
the  most  distinguished  sailors  of  his  time, 
and  his  name  is  well  deserving  of  a  place  in 
the  roll  of  eminent  men  who  at  one  time  or 

another  have  been  connected  with  the  Straits 

At  the  earliest  period  in  the  life  of  the  settle- 
ment the  question  of  fiscal  policy  arose  for  con- 
sideration. In  a  letter  to  Light,  dated  January 
22,  1787,  Sir  John  Macpherson,  the  Governor- 
General,  outlined  the  views  of  the  Government 
on  the  point  as  follows  : 

•'At    present    our    great  object    in   settling 
Prince  of  Wales  Island  is  to  secure  a  port  of 
refreshment    and    repair  for  the   King's,  the 
Company's,  and    the    country  ships,   and  we 
must  leave  it  to  time  and  to  your  good  manage- 
ment to  establish  it  as  a  port  of  commerce.    If 
the  situation  is  favourable,  the  merchants  will 
find  their  advantage   in   resorting  with  their 
goods  to  it,  and,  as  an  inducement  to  them,  we 
desire  you  will  refrain  from  levying  any  kind 
of  duties  or  tax  on   goods   landed  or  vessels 
importing  at  Prince  of  Wales  Island,  and  it  is 
our  wish  to  make  the  port  free  to  all  nations." 
Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  Pinang  was  originally 
cast  for  the  role  of  a  free  port,  but  fate — in  plain 
truth,  expediency — decided  against  the  adoption 
of  a  Free  Trade  policy,  and  it  was  left  to  Sir 
Stamford  Raffles    to  give   effect   to   Sir  John 
Macpherson's  views  in   another  sphere   with 
the  happiest  results.     Light's  own  opinions  on 
the  subject  were  given  in  a  communication  he 
forwarded  in  the  first  year  of  the  occupation  in 
response  to  a  request  from  the  Supreme  Govern- 
ment to   say  how  he  proposed  to   meet  the 
growing  expenses  of   the    Pinang  administra- 
tion.    Light  suggested  the  adoption  of  a  middle 
course  between  the  opening  of  the  port  abso- 
lutely to  all  comers  and  the  adoption  of  an 
all-round  system  of  custom  duties.     "  To  levy  a 
general  duty  on  all  goods  which  come  to  this 
port  would,"  he  wrote,  "defeat  the  intention  of 
Government  in  making  remittances  to  China  by 
the  barter  of  the  manufactures  of  India  for  the 
produce  of  other  countries.     The  present  situa- 
tion of  the  surrounding  kingdoms,  distracted  by 
foreign  and  civil  wars  which  deprive  their  in- 
habitants   of    the    privilege    of    bringing    the 
produce  of  their  lands  to  this  port,  added  to 
the  various  impediments  thrown  in  the  way  of 
the  English  trade  by  the  Dutch,  who  prevent 
the   Chinese  junks  and  the  Malay  and   Bugis 
prows  from  passing  Malacca,  while  by  threats 
they  cause  some  of  the  Malay  States  and  by 
force  oblige  others  to  desist  from  trading  with 
the  English,  are  obstacles  too  great  to  admit  of 
the  levying  with  success  any  general  duties." 
Light  went  on  to  say  that  in  his  view  the  island 
ought  to  be  treated  as  a  colony,  and  the  expense 
of  maintaining  it  drawn  from  land  and  not  from 
the  trade,  which  should  be  encouraged  as  much 
as  possible,  to  the  end  that  the  export  of  manu- 
factures of  the  Company's  territories  in  India 
might  be  extended,   and    the   remittances    to 
China  by  the  sale  of  these  manufactures  in- 
creased.    Still,  he  recognised  that  money  had 
to    be    found    for  immediate    needs,  and    he 
accordingly  suggested    a    system  of   customs 
duties  on  foreign  goods  or  goods  imported  in 
foreign  vessels.    The  chief  imposts  were  :  4  per 
cent,  upon  all  India  goods  imported  in  foreign 
vessels  ;  4  per  cent,  upon  all  goods  imported  in 
Chulia  vessels  not  immediately  from  anj'  of  the 
Company's  settlements  ;   6  per  cent,  upon  all 
China  goods  without  distinction  ;   6  per  cent, 
upon  all  tobacco,  salt,  arrack,  sugar,  and  coarse 

cloths,  the  produce  or  manufacture  of  Java  or 
any  other  Dutch  possession  to  the  eastward  ; 
6  per  cent,  upon  all  European  articles  imported 
by  foreign  ships  unless  the  produce  or  manu- 
facture of  Great  Britain.  The  Supreme  Govern- 
ment gave  their  assent  to  these  proposals,  and 
they  were  introduced  with  results  so  unsatis- 
factory that  the  system  was  abandoned  in  favour 
of  a  more  uniform  system  of  duties.  Eventually, 
as  will  be  seen,  all  imposts  were  abolished,  and 
Pinang  became,  like  Singapore,  a  free  port. 
Meanwhile,  a  series  of  excise  farms  were  set 
up  to  raise  money  for  specific  administrative 
purposes.  These  constituted  for  many  years 
the  backbone  of  the  revenue  system,  and  they 
still  form  a  not  unimportant  part  of  it. 

Politically  the  affairs  of  the  new  settlement 
ran  none  too  smoothly  in  the  early  period  of  its 
existence.    Apart  from  the  obstructiveness  of 
the  Dutch,  Light  had  to  deal  with  the  serious 
discontent  of  the  Sultan,  arising  out  of  the  in- 
terpretation put  by  the  Supreme  Government 
upon  their  arrangement  with  him.     Sir  Frank 
Swettenham,  in  his  work,  enters  at  great  length 
into  a  consideration  of  this  question,  and  he 
does  not  hesitate  to  characterise  in  the  strongest 
terms  what  he  regards  as  the  bad  faith  of  the 
Supreme  Government  in  their  dealings  with 
the  Sultan  and  his  successors.    The  point  of 
the  whole  matter  is  whether,  in  return  for  the 
cession,  the  Government  pledged  themselves  to 
defend  the  Sultan's  territories  against  aggres- 
sion, and  especially  Siamese  aggression.     Sir 
Frank  Swettenham   emphatically  affirms  that 
they  did,  and  the  mass  of  documentary  evidence 
which  he  adduces  in  favour  of  that  view  is  cer- 
tainly fairly  conclusive  on  the  subject.     Light 
himself  appears  to  have  regarded  the  extension 
of  British  protection  to  the  State  as  an  essential 
feature  of  the  bargain.     He  again  and  again 
urged  upon  the    Supreme    Government  with 
much  earnestness  the  desirability  of  affording 
the  Sultan  the  protection  he  demanded.     He 
pointed  out  that  the   success  of  the   Siamese 
would  have  very  injurious  effects  on  the  Com- 
pany's interests.     "  If  they  destroy  the  country 
of  Kedah,"  he  wrote,  "they  deprive  us  of  our 
great  supplies  of  provisions,  and  the  English 
will   suffer  disgrace    in  tamely  suffering  the 
King  of  Kedah  to  be  cut  off.      We  shall  then 
be  obliged  to  war  in  self-defence  against  the 
Siamese  and   Malays.      Should   your   lordship 
resolve  upon  protecting  Kedah,  two  companies 
of  sepoys  with  four  six-pounder  field  pieces, 
and  a  supply  of  small  arms  and  ammunition, 
will  effectually  defend  this  country  against  the 
Siamese,  who,  though  they  are  a  very  destruc- 
tive enemy,  are  by  no   means  formidable  in 
battle  ;   and  it  will   be  much  less  expense  to 
give  the  King  of  Kedah  timely  assistance  than 
be  obliged  to  drive  out  the  Siamese  after  they 
have  possessed   themselves  of    the  country." 
The  Calcutta  authorities  turned  a  deaf  ear  to 
this  representation,  as  they  did  to  others  not 
less  urgent  that  Light  forwarded.     Their  hands 
were  doubtless  too  full  at  the  time  with  the 
struggle  against  the  French  to  be  easily  turned 
towards  the  course  to  which  a  nice  honour  would 
have  directed  them.     In  Juh-,  1789,  Light  wrote 
to  the  Government  at  Calcutta  informing  them 
that  the  Sultan  had  declined  to  accept  a  mone- 
tary compensation  for  the  island,  and  at  the 
same  time  had  "endeavoured  to  draw  a  full 



promise  that  the  Honourable  Company  would 
assist  him  with  arms  and  men  in  case  an  attack 
from  the  Siamese  should  render  it  necessary." 
This  demand  Light  said  he  had  met  with  the 
evasive  answer  that  no  treaty  which  was  likely 
to  occasion  a  dispute  between  the  Company  and 
the  Siamese  could  be  made  without  the  appro- 
bation of  the  King  of  Great  Britain.  The 
Sultan,  finding  that  diplomacy  had  failed  to 
secure  what  he  wanted,  resolved  to  attempt  to 
oust  the  English  from  the  island.  Early  in  1790 
he  assembled  a  formidable  force  of  ten  thousand 
men  and  a  fleet  of  twenty  war  prahus  manned 
by  pirates  at  Prye.  Here  a  stockade  was 
erected,  and  only  "a  propitious  day"  was 
wanting  for  the  attack.  This  never  came,  for 
Light  anticipated  the  Sultan's  move  by  an 
attack  of  his  own,  conducted  by  four  hundred 
well-armed  men.  The  stockade  was  captured 
and  the  fleet  of  prahus  dispersed.  Ultimately, 
on  the  l6th  of  April  the  Sultan  sued  for  peace, 
and  Light  concluded  a  new  treaty  with  him. 
This  instrument,  which  was  afterwards  approved 
by  the  Supreme  Government,  provided  for  the 
e.xclusion  of  all  other  Europeans  not  trading  or 
settling  in  Kedah,  the  mutual  exchange  of  slaves, 
debtors,  and  murderers,  the  importation  of  food 
stuffs,  and  the  payment  of  an  annual  subsidy  of 
6,000  dollars  to  .the  Sultan.  The  question  of 
British  protection  remained  in  abeyance  until 
1793,  when  the  Home  Go\'ernment  issued  the 
definitive  instruction  that  "  no  offensive  and 
defensive  alliance '  should  be  made  with  the 
Rajah  of  Kedah."  Here,  as  far  as  Light  was 
concerned,  the  controversy  ended,  as  he  died 
in  the  following  year,  and  an  opportunity  did 
not  occur  in  the  interval  of  raising  the  question 
afresh  in  the  face  of  the  direct  mandate  froin 
home.  But  to  the  end  of  his  days  he  is  believed 
to  have  felt  acutely  the  injustice  of  which  he 
had  been  made  the  unwiUing  agent. 

A  few  months  before  his  death  Light  in- 
dited a  communication  to  Sir  John  Shore, 
who  had  succeeded  Macpherson  as  Governor- 
General,  urging  the  necessity  of  establishing  a 
judicial  system  in  the  island.  The  letter  is  a 
long  and  able  document,  setting  forth  the 
peculiar  conditions  of  the  island,  the  charac- 
teristics of  the  various  elements  in  the  population, 
and  the  inadequacy  of  the  arrangements  which 
at  that  time  existed  for  administering  justice. 
Light  concluded  his  survey  with  these  remarks, 
which  show  the  liberal,  far-seeing  character  of 
the  man  :  "  A  regular  form  of  administering 
justice  is  necessary  for  the  peace  and  welfare 
of  the  society,  and  for  the  honour  of  the  nation 
who  granted  them  protection.  It  is  likewise 
improper  that  the  superintendent  should  have 
it  in  his  power  to  exercise  an  arbitrary  judg- 
ment upon  persons  and  things  ;  whether  this 
judgment  is  iniquitous  or  not,  the  mode  is  still 
arbitrary  and  disagreeable  to  society."  The 
Supreme  Government,  in  response  to  the 
appeal,  framed  certain  regulations  for  the 
administration  of  law  in  the  settlement,  and 
these  remained  in  force  until  a  regular  judicial 
system  was  introduced  in  May,  1808,  with  Sir 
Edmond  Stanley,  K.T.,  as  the  first  Recorder. 
It  will  be  of  interest  before  passing  from  this 
subject  to  note  that  one  of  the  magistrates 
appointed  under  the  regulations  was  Mr.  John 
Dickens,  an  uncle  of  the  great  novelist,  who 
previous  to  his  appointment  at  Prince  of  Wales 

Island  had  practised  with  considerable  success 
at  the  Calcutta  Bar.  An  amusing  story  illus- 
trative of  life  in  Pinang  in  those  early  days 
figures  on  the  records.  One  morning  Mr. 
Dickens  was  taking  his  usual  ride  when  he 
met  an  irate  suitor — a  certain  Mr.  Douglas — 
who  required  "  an  explanation  and  satisfaction  " 
of  him  relative  to  n  case  just  concluded,  in 
which  Douglas  appeared  as  the  defendant. 
Mr.  Dickens  replied  spiritedly  that  he  was 
surprised  at  the  man's  daring  to  interrogate 
him  in  that  manner,  and  told  him  that  he  would 
not  permit  him  or  any  man  to  expect  that  he 
would  explain  his  official  conduct  as  judge. 
Upon  this  Douglas  said  he  would  have  ample 
satisfaction,  and  swore  that  he  would  have  the 
magistrate's  blood.  Mr.  Dickens,  not  to  be 
outdone,  "  told  him  he  was  a  scoundrel,  and 
that  he  had  now  an  opportunity,  and  that  if  he 
had  the  spirit  to  do  it,  why  did  he  not  now 
take  his  revenge."  His  answer  was,  "that  he 
had  no  pistols,  but  if  he  had  he  would."  Mr. 
Dickens,  in  transmitting  his  account  of  the 
episode  to  Raffles,  who  was  then  Colonial 
Secretary,  cited  it  as  "  another  instance  of  the 
injurious  effects  resulting  from  the  Hon. 
Governor-General  in  Council  compelling  me 
to  examine  into  complaints  against  British 
subjects,  whose  judicial  respect  and  obedience 
to  mj'  judicial  opinion  I  not  only  cannot  com- 
mand, but  who  think  themselves  authorised  to 
resent  as  a  private  personal  injury  the  judicial 
duties  I  perform  in  obedience  to  the  injunctions 
of  the  Hon.  Governor-General  in  Council." 
No  doubt  this  protest  of  Mr.  Dickens  had  no 
small  influence  in  bringing  about  the  establish- 
ment of  the  judicial  system  already  referred  to. 
Before  this  incident  occurred,  as  we  have 
mentioned,  Light  had  been  removed  by  death. 
His  demise  occurred  on  October  21,  1794,  from 
malarial  fever.  He  left  behind  him  a  widow, 
two  sons,  and  three  daughters.  The  elder  son, 
William  Light,  was  sent  to  England  to  the 
charge  of  iMr.  George  Doughty,  High  Sheriff  of 
Suffolk,  a  frienci  of  Light's  foster  parents.  He 
entered  the  army  and  served  with  distinction  in 
the  Peninsular  War,  finally  becoming  aide-de- 
camp  to  the  Duke  of  Wellington.  Later  he 
achieved  fame  in  quite  anotlier  field.  As  the 
first  Surveyor-General  of  South  .-iustralia  he  laid 
out  the  city  of  Adelaide,  and  he  did  so  on  lines 
which  have  won  for  the  place  the  designation  of 
"  the  Garden  City."  Every  year  at  the  elec- 
tion of  mayor  of  Adelaide  the  "  Memory  of 
Colonel  Light"  is  solemnly  drunk.  It  is  a 
recognition  of  his  title  to  the  position  of 
father  and  founder  of  the  city.  Light's  second 
son,  Francis  Lanoon  Light,  had  a  somewhat 
chequered  career.  At  the  time  of  the  British 
occupation  of  Java  he  held  the  position  of 
British  Resident  of  Muntok,  in  Banka.  Later 
we  find  him  a  suitor  for  charity  at  the  hands  of 
the  East  India  Company  on  the  ground  that  he 
was  "labouring  under  great  affliction  from 
poverty  and  distress."  The  Directors,  in  view 
of  the  services  of  his  distinguished  father, 
granted  him  on  July  4,  1821,  a  pension  of  ;£ioo 
a  year.  He  died  on  October  25,  1823,  so  that 
he  did  not  live  long  to  enjoy  the  rather  nig- 
gardly bounty  of  the  Company. 


E  .\  R  L  Y      Y  ^  A  R  S  . 

After  Light's  death  the  Company  appear  to 
have  had  a  cold  fit  on  the  subject  of  Prince  of 
Wales  Island.  The  first  brilliant  expectations 
formed  of  the  settlement  had  not  been  realised. 
The  trade  did  not  grow  in  proportion  to  the 
expenses  of  administration,  and  there  were 
numerous  political  difficulties  to  be  contended 
with.  In  the  circumstances  the  Government 
were  disposed  to  lend  an  ear  to  the  detractors 
of  Light's  enterprise,  who  had  from  the  first  re- 
presented the  settlement  as  one  of  the  Company's 
bad  bargains.  A  proposition  actually  enter- 
tained by  them  was  the  abandonment  of  the 
settlement  in  favour  of  one  on  one  of  the  Anda- 
man Islands,  where  a  convict  station  and  har- 
bour of  refuge  had  already  been  established. 
The  Government  sent  Major  Kyd  to  report  on 
the  respective  merits  of  the  two  situations. 
This  officer  set  forth  his  conclusions  in  a  com- 
munication dated  August  20,  1795.  They  were 
opposed  to  the  removal  of  the  Company's  centre 
of  influence  from  Pinang.  Major  Kyd  pointed 
out  that  Port  Cornwallis,  the  alternative  situa- 
tion in  the  Andamans,  was  out  of  the  track  of 
regular  commerce,  and  that  a  station  there 
would  answer  no  other  purpose  than  a  harbour 
and  a  receptacle  for  con\icts,  while  Prince  of 
Wales  Island  was  well  calculated  for  defending 
the  Straits  of  Malacca  and  for  securing  commu- 
nication to  the  eastward.  The  writer  doubted, 
however,  whether  the  island  could  pay  its  way, 
though  he  acknowledged  that  if  the  Dutch 
authority  to  the  eastward  were  not  re-estab- 
lished the  intercourse  with  Malay  merchants 
would  be  greater  and  the  revenues  proportion- 
ately increased.  The  report  was  conclusive  as 
to  the  superior  advantages  of  Prince  of  Wales 
Island.  But  the  Court  of  Directors,  in  dismissing 
the  idea  of  abandonment,  sardonically  remarked 
that  revenue  at  the  settlement  arose  from  the 
vices  rather  than  the  industry  of  the  inhabitants 
— a  reference  to  the  fact  that  the  opium  and 
gaming  farms  were  the  leading  items  on  the 
credit  side  of  the  settlement's  balance-sheet. 

It  is  in  the  period  immediately  following 
Light's  death  that  we  first  discover  traces  of 
the  growth  of  a  municipal  system.  In  June, 
1795,  Mr.  Phihp  Manington,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded the  founder  of  the  settlement  as  Super- 
intendent, appointed,  on  a  salary  of  Rs.  150  per 
month,  a  Mr.  Philip  Maclntyre  as  clerk  of  the 
market  and  scavenger,  "  because  of  the  intoler- 
able condition  of  filth  in  the  streets."  In  approv- 
ing this  appointment  the  Supreme  Government 
wrote  inquiring  "  how  far  in  Mr.  Manington's 
opinion  the  imposition  of  a  moderate  tax  on 
houses  and  grounds  within  the  town  for  the 
purposes  exclusively  of  obtaining  a  fund  for 
cleansing  and  draining  the  town  and  keep- 
ing the  streets  in  repair  is  practicable."  The 
Superintendent,  writing  on  September  25, 179S, 
reported  the  enforcement  of  a  tax  on  houses 
and  shops  in  the  bazaar  belonging  to  natives 
according  to  the  extent  of  the  ground  occupied. 
He  proceeded  :  "  Since  the  above  period  the 
gentlemen  and  other  inhabitants,  owners  of 
houses  and  ground  situated  on  what  is  called  the 
Point  and  within  the  limits  of  Georgetown, 
have  had  a  meeting,  and  have  given  it  as  their 



opinion  that  the  most  equitable  mode  to  adopt 
would  be  that  a  committee  of  gentlemen  should 
be  appointed  to  fix  a  valuation  on  every  par- 
ticular^house,  and  that  so  much  per  cent,  on 

"  But,"  he  added,  "  I  have  to  observe  that  the 
tax  I  have  recommended  will  be  more  than 
double  sufficient  to  answer  all  expenses  what- 
ever   that    can  be    incurred    in   the  bazaar." 

which  reference  has  been  made  above,  the 
value  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island  was  abundantly 
proved.  In  1797  the  Government  of  India  had 
in  contemplation  an  expedition  against  Manilla, 

.--^"■■^ — 

PLAN     OF 


in  leas. 

- — ^ 

]   Governnic-nt   Hi.use 

2  Court  House 

3  P.iblic  Officer, 

4  Grouiia  rr;sc-rv--d  kjr  a  Ch'ir..h 

'  5  Master  A)tfiivJ.Mif=.  OHW,. 

6   New   Rice   Goclowni 

7   Jail 

a  Fish  Wferkpt ' 

9   Fowl  Mork-:-! 

10  Mosqnf   built   by   ih'-    GiiL-clil..-. 

11   Ghincs  0!Hjrch 

l2  Sepoyi'  Lines 

13    Aclrniraj'5    hoil-.' 

14  Lirge  W(-ll 

15   Govcrnntr;r,i   An.nce.H'     '.';ri-    ^ 

lb    Nr.w    Stnr>     Roij'ii?^^ 

17  P.ip-lly   lill^.l   Ml, 

1    ! 

i  \ 

PLAN    OF    GEORGETOWN    (PINANG)    IN    1803. 
(From  Sir  George  Leith's  "Short  Account  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island,"  published  1804.) 

that  valuation  should  be  levied."  In  reference 
to  the  Government's  particular  inquiry,  Mr. 
Manington  reported  that  he  was  of  opinion 
that  the  levying  of  any  tax  over  and  above 
that  he  had  recommended  would  for  the 
present  "  become  a  great  burden  on  the  native 
inhabitants  in  the  bazaai,  hundreds  of  whom 
still  remain    in  very  indigent   circumstances." 

Nothing  further  appears  to  have  been  done  at 
this  juncture  to  establish  a  municipal  system. 
But  some  years  later  the  suggested  body  to 
assess  the  value  of  property  was  created  under 
the  designation  of  the  Committee  of  Assessors, 
and  from  this  authority  was  developed  the 
existing  municipal  constitution. 

Two  years    after  Major   Kyd's   mission,   to 

and  they  got  together  a  considerable  force  for 
the  purpose.  Prince  of  Wales  Island,  as  the 
most  advanced  post  of  the  Company,  was  made 
the  rendezvous  of  the  expedition.  Here,'  in 
August  of  that  year,  were  gathered  five  thou- 
sand EuVopean  troops  with  a  large  native 
force  under  the  command  of  General  St.  Leger. 
The  famous  Duke  of  Wellington  {then  simple 



Colonel  Wellesley)  was  present  in  command  of 
the  33rd  Regiment,  whicli  formed  a  part  of  the 
expedition.  He  seems  to  have  been  commis- 
sioned to  draw  up  a  paper  on  ttie  settlement, 
for  a  "  Memorandum  of  Pulo  Penang  "  from  his 
pen  figures  in  the  archives.  The  great  soldier 
saw  at  a  glance  the  value  of  the  place  to  the 
British.  He  emphasised  its  importance  as  a 
military  station,  and  showed  how  it  could  be 
held  by  a  comparatively  insignificant  force 
against  all  comers.  He  concluded  with 
some  general  remarks  on  the  question  of  ad- 
ministration, recommending  that  the  natives 
should  be  left  under  the  direction  of  their  head- 
men, while  at  the  head  of  the  magistracy  of  the 
island  there  should  be  a  European  magistrate 
"who  should  inform  himself  of  the  methods  of 
proceeding  and  of  the  laws  which  bind  the 
Chinese  and  the  Malays."  The  report  had  its 
due  weight  with  the  authorities.  Then  more 
than  ever  it  was  realised  that  there  could  be  no 
question  of  abandonment.  But  the  administra- 
tion of  the  settlement  was  beset  with  too  many 
difficulties  for  the  Supreme  Government  to  be 
altogether  elated  with  their  possession.  Apart 
from  financial  drawbacks,  there  were  serious 
causes  of  dissatisfaction  arising  out  of  the  in- 
adequate policing  of  the  settlement.  The 
incident  already  related  in  which  Mr.  Dickens, 
the  magistrate,  figured,  points  to  the  chief 
direction  from  which  trouble  came.  Major 
Forbes  Macdonald,  who  succeeded  to  the 
government  of  the  island  on  Light's  death, 
gives  a  further  and  deeper  insight  into  the 
matter  in  a  report  he  drew  up  for  presentation 

to  the  Supreme  Government  some  little  time 
after  assuming  office.  He  there  relates  how 
he    has    made  himself   acquainted  with    the 


(Governor-General  of  India  from  I7Q7  to  1806.     From 
the  portrait  in  tfie  National  Portrait  Gallery.) 

people,  their   modes    and     customs.      "  I    am 
persuaded,"   he   wrote,    "  I    have  gained  their 

confidence,  although  I  may  perhaps  owe  much 
of  that  to  the  fiery  ordeal  through  which  I  have 
persevered,  not  seldom  in  their  defence,  ad- 
ministered to  me  by  the  European  settlers,  who 
affected  to  hold  in  contempt  such  feeble  and, 
as  they  argued,  not  beUeved,  upstart  control. 
To  the  Europeans  alone,  to  their  interested 
motives,  to  their  spirit  of  insubordination,  must 
be  attributed  the  general  laxity  of  every  depart- 
ment, for  where  could  vigour,  where  could 
with  propriety  any  restrictive  regulation  operate 
while  the  most  conspicuous  part  of  the  com- 
munity not  only  holds  itself  sanctioned,  but 
preaches  up  publicly  a  crusade  against  all 
government  ?  Police  we  have  none,  at  least  no 
regulation  which  deserves  that  epithet.  Various 
regulations  have  been  made  from  time  to  time, 
as  urgency  in  particular  cases  dictated,  but  they 
have  all  shared  the  same  fate— neglect  where 
every  member  of  the  community  is  not  bound 
by  the  same  law,  where  to  carry  into  effect  a 
necessary  regulation  arrangement  a  mandate 
is  issued  to  one  class,  a  request  hazards  a 
contemptuous  reception  from  the  other." 

Major  Macdonald  clearly  was  not  happy  in 
his  relations  with  the  European  community. 
Whether  the  fault  was  pntirely  on  the  side  of 
the  settlers  is  a  question  which  seems  to  be 
open  to  considerable  doubt  in  the  light  of  the 
records.  Macdonald  appears  to  have  been  of 
the  fussy  type  of  autocrats  who  must  always 
be  doing  something  to  assert  their  authority. 
Early  in  his  administrafion  he  brought  obloquy 
upon  himself  by  demanding  from  the  settlers 
the  proofs  of  their  right  to  reside  in  the  settle- 


(From  D.lniell's  "Views  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island.") 



ment.  One  of  the  community,  a  Mr.  Mason, 
made  this  reply,  which  perhaps  is  responsible 
for  the  allusion  to  the  contemptuous  reception 
of  requests  in  Major  Macdonald's  report : 

"  Sir,  I  beg  leave  to  inform  you,  for  the 

information  of  the  Governor-General  in  Council, 
that  my  authority  or  permission  to  reside  in 
India  is  from  his  Majesty  King  George  the 
Third — God  save  him  ! — also  from  Superinten- 
dent Francis  Light,  Esquire,  the  public  faith 
being  pledged  for  that  purpose.  And  as 

to  my  character,  I  shall  take  particular  care  that 
it  be  laid  before  the  Governor-General  in 

and  Commander-in-Chief.  One  of  the  earliest 
measures  adopted  by  the  new  administrator  was 
the  despatch  of  Mr.  Gaunter,  the  First  Assistant 
at  the  settlement,  to  Kedah  to  negotiate  with  the 
Sultan  for  a  transfer  of  territory  on  the  main- 
land. The  necessity  for  this  extension  of  the 
Company's  sphere  of  influence  had  been  ap- 
parent from  the  beginning,  and  with  the 
growth  of  the  trade  of  the  port  the  matter  had 
become  more  pressing,  owing  to  the  depreda- 
tions of  pirates  who,  established  on  the  Kedah 
coast,  were  able  to  raid  vessels  entering  or 
leaving  Pinang  with  practical  impunity.  Mr. 
Gaunter    discharged   his   mission   successfully. 



TI^E   feoVERNMl&NT  biiliZETTE. 

.     -.,      .......I.. :,„^.^,.„^mm_H    -Vji.i^--    -|-7  llTTlTl     ^     iiiiirti    l| 

4bHA  ^lebiK  In-'ilf*  90  tr  b  RtfUS  irrOA  £  ttrr  F , 
PMMpM.  St..,r«ar  TO  GouiKv«..(rT. 



"  ittd  loataA\ 

!   rnnti;   of  WJr. 

t.l'ctj    Uld    «pi.Dj    .r.  OoTWtCP    Um  i<4l- 

ucs,   jnu  iu>iii^  rcU(id<>  lu  i<ill  jbkOloie  COr.>mf- 

V>'C)   IS    pitiiiQc,    idji  ^  ii^mc  l4iiiT(  p«n>d  01 

■^   Hmc,    ibcreiu  (pci.i»ctl,  iIk  vu<1  Un^>  ifi^  Hov 

».>  Mbtullbe   [•-conac^rj,   ■..(  re^en  to  itts  VudX 

''-BKniMncil.     AikI   <he  utiil  >([<4iitc  do*  1 

^^■uy  be   laK(  kuJ   tbca  ja  Uialnio   '.onTrysiUc 

Vuv  be  letup.      AtKt  wUfirjithf  tpiriiind  priji- 

•ipkofilit  FiijiUmiiio..  ,•;   iBcjiii  i.ptcuibrt, 

ifcu  (wtiicbdiiuU,     ilwi  all    M<-ilrcC«A   iii^! 

-'  bl  ?pin    CojII    ittoowlcJue  ihr.i  rt'.tl,)   l&i  bv 

the  inicnluCIUD  oF  tht  .iil  .udom,  lx*u  rviJed  . 

"-Th*.    HdiMTibU -Otc    GvnrtMt    uid  C«')acil    c 

Vriocc   of  Wiilck'  l>Lu>J   lute  ihcralois  cnMlMl, 

Jad  dw-honby  eniU  uvl  ilb.Ure  ,   ThMi,   .Wun  iqlI 

a/ltr  tbr  dij    at  the  dji*   of  ilia   f*n.<U(iuti<S, 

**cr>  KtioJ   ^klc  <lui  t^l  Ik  raBcuiPj  rf,  an  ' 

cmccTniof  Limdi  ui^  llonuk  «a  ibit  Ulaod,  u  ' 

,    Um  opf Mira  a<paodu<i  nrriiofri  whiftbtr  ab» 

^    liM(  o(««oJiuanali   UnJI  be  utirilf  Ti»d,  -end  oi 

•«  ctfc^.  ubJui  lb*  Va»dor  m  NUhho*  oI  ib' 

-aad  appor  Im/oec  the  J'lJgtr  indRij^iiiriie  3^  (be 

Mid  lU-ukd,    witAtd  (iriMQ  dsfi   Ui-at   the  Cfr^^i- 

~     ttoo  »/  lucb  bWl  pi  i*U,  uul  wkoovUJ^  toll  I '  , 

bMCi*cvtian«/»ui:hBill  orSalf,  b«l«r(  itwult! 

A»dib«uid  Ja^fiAdMipitnit  k>ull  cndi^ 

•Ad  {  And  tbt  Rcgiixc  «r  BilLi  oi  Silt  rt  ihr 
UkI  L.1^*  -imI  Hgum,  I)  hereby  dirr^ol  «<\' 
m  tt%iM.t  ■»/  <uch  liilli  •(  bit,  ftam  irl 
tftcr  th«  date  e(  ifaa   Pro^ U/ruiloo,  uAlau   •u>'> 

.  ■■dnfifmral  ituU  be  Bmiouitf  tmAt  rbirron,' 
k*    ilM  utd  Judf*  umI    Mnliimai     Aad    «if>i 

;,    mp«i  la   »>1U  ai    SaU   oTUadi  ud  M<'Om>,. 

'  (vUch  -biTt  bctA  nKutsd  bafcn  the  due  of  ihiJ 
Fratl^mauoB,  bui  abiLh  Fu*«  oai  been  iJre«JT 
■Mutunl  «iib  Um  Ragliin  of  Um  B>1U  ol  ^U<-, 
«k(  HoIdtT  ..f  ii\  ikKb  BilU  of  S^  iwi  yet  r^- 

,tBMb*n  Aliccn  d47«.  fraoi  ib«  dif  of  the  daiV'^ 

Ijui  roKUnulija,  &«&>«  lbs  uul  RcjpKU,  i4>a 

'■    will    t  •  ' 

ADFgRTiSiStKhir.     ■       I 
H      KO  C  £  il«      bM>  Ui<«  in  iahrai  'h<. 
nuKliudtiM   Pibiif ,  thai  he  tttiradi   tu«i;  t 

:  Um  catuts(  M^wh,   h  Ui  Utwv  fttabfc;.. 

HEPOIlTORy  VOR.  M^^WU,  *«.  I 

l>c|[   UtTc  td  thi. 

<»•  i.ior  A.  ..r  ..m.  wnwoi  witi  i)*t7v. 
'  l*T  Pi»t»«  gAl«.  on  ifw  riC4.»  a?  i«i 
>.ci«d4M  r  -   ■"  ■    "■  -    -         ' 

H  k  ifwtjidiaf  tofwetftilJ,  «t(ie»mi^, 
U.1IUI  ta  MBrtBi,  ftin*  hb  nta.  u  f^:u«i  ^  , 

( i.<-4.,  a?  erf;; 

i  U(  lend   foi   i)U( 

nu4ti^  a  Kane 

pajtii'f  d.n«, ..::".,_ 


futag  Hooft!  ,...^,  ■;■ 
MiwfuN*;,!!,,  ,«h,  .... 
BrMlinc  ia  far  (ha  Wdla. 

Spi.   Dtll»^ 


U  Rnvur  do  ZaphiT.  a  WM.  lulbah. 


.  4ii>a. 

,  CkracBCl. 

^o(B  ttic  (bie  or  ihu  Pro..Uiiiatk)fi,  (hr  tud 
■Mi«r  tj  Aretivd  bst  TO  rrfitier  uy  Bills  ol 
«/  Lied  «*.-UUCT(/,  kllMU(Cl  cmlbiH 
to  IDl  •liK'  01  itua  PRhUaatida,  '  im1«i 
Juiyc  ml  Mj^ittnia  itki.1  tenlAr  bjr  liu  9t(- 
-uu.'c  itK.n  -u,  lint  (ttc  uiM  ouftil  t«  bt  lo  f^ 
]iri«4  '.^11*  tbe.H«Banai>  tiM  Co*ema>  ttid 

■  Tt^er^iiit  lakatMiHai  «M  S»» 

Lkin  och.  tad  ncrj  Mfcnif* 
1  Billa  atf  Mraf  LMiC  *^ 

-•J .  -       ' 

Thn«  Sor-kui.  dil 

A  5«nsu.  ditia,        .....      i 

Tbc  Livoriic  Otintu«  t>  BUiu  lad  Bibti, 

Unit,         .        .        .       .       ,       -        I 
Tmi  Ain,  Mann  aad  R4U|MI«,  i*i(b  *aii- 

uioBi.  Cnaicr,        ....       I 
Tr«U  L;f«a<US  Sonat*.  tU"". 
A  r*.it'><f  0*«>ii(«  IP  Crbclc. 
A  Sum  (yrinl  Ccn.^n«,  I>«iMk,  •        s 

Sia  SOMDOM,  dim,  .       •       .    ^ 

Ttvrir  ilinu,  dtiio,  .  .  •  .  ^ 
A  r«*  Cn.^  Cmrtrto,  Vi«iil.  .  .  « 
T  iinr  Fmuui,  diltti,         .        -  .      4( 

Sii  Cu.toncu,  HiouBtl,  -  '  -  4i 
Thn*  S»o*»4.  Lcwu  V,a  BccilWMm,  4I 

A  Cruut  Soaau,  dnw.  .       .       .  li 

A  iMWiMlJ»«»,  fltfri,  -        .       -        Jl 

TbMa  b'nwl  1«a>w.  diiio,  .  .  -  4J 
Kkl  Cu»oAU,  dttio,  .        -        .    4' 

A  Ct»od  Quutcti.  ditio.  ...  4 
Tta  IhttM^  »'  C««ffcoi  Iij,  >  noric  Mm.     i 

Thl  UlTttAd  Ibc  Kmv,   dll|t>,        •  •  ■      1 

bl«<«  lif  Brf|ta  ilHR,  ija», 
J  AMI  MUA^h  d4u*.  ,         «        •        , 

*  BimitiT'^  »  "  i>i»fi*».  ■ 

b4  hq[d«il  T>Ktd*J  1.  .u  llM  IM  «f  AP(U,  «  Ml. 

FtrUrV  Ijncni 
OUfMt  dn  IIk  Titov.  u  4  o'clook,  prKlMlr. 

ff*'M«flfc«ii  4iV  t.^ucii«d  10  iBWi  »( fwif  p»wf 

I  d'tlocklftt^hCf<-n--.<>lftlklMWo  WHldfr. 

VlU3«tb4  894il»npui  ttMdUdl  iAl«iu«al  Mcrr. 

JIU.« a,  IM4,  AkTiaa  Slc>tv..y. 

— ■     pUii — ;- —  ■  i t  ' ^ — - 

HArr  rojCtALI, 

M^e^y.  wvraniii'Ul  ytAf*  in 

lMU«.pc.  do.^^   ~..» t4 

Pwt  Wine,  ...  .>.-..  ^no,  lo- 
Brtailv.  ...,  >•*•  ditto,  uj 
Eiuopf  V»JKi«.    ».—     P«t  S*l.      a  s« 

R'll  lioJIwidlQip, ptrfCAJe,-    >■ 

fine  Pftlt  Ale, r«rdot.     f 

Httjnpfltnd  TM|a((,  1 4  ocfa  in  L.fgi, 

i.  1     ■  1*1  twg,  t« 

Firft  Clwp  Hyft^fTea,  per  CAajf,       1  jo 
BtngAl  Cin««,  pp  boll,      ..     ..     s 

ciiiftios  on,  ^ 

M*v  be  had  ttX^oort  lAJ  Bqd.:'!  Rojmf 
Pr!«  Thtfc  AaaiCb  D6lhr«  jwr  Qoan. 

pecMl,   ... 


9  S' 


Bectlf.wr,  dHtOk        ,       ^ 

Tin,  Perth,  djtto,    .     ...     it» 

"Wtto,  Lingii^         .         ....    I J 

Coich,  ii'AoJ  5 

Ekpbirit'  T^pii,  per  pecu!,  f^j  10  75 

Benjamin,  ifltim  aj 

Sogar,  ja.a,-di(to,      i 

Clovci,'dnKv  i,IJ 

Nwmrg-,  fKTtOOiOOO,      IOC  J 

Opium,  vi^immi,  pctrfifll.     ,.      -^a 

Pah  Mawi,  PPT  necoi,    40 

Sigo,  ditto,  a   ' 

sition  did  not  at  the  time  or  for  many  years 
afterwards  appear  to  be  of  any  great  value 
apart  from  its  uses  in  conducting  a  campaign 
against  pirates.  Thus,  one  writer  of  the  early 
part  of  the  last  century,  alluding  to  the  transfer, 
says  :  "  The  amount  of  purchase  monej',  2,000 
dollars  for  nearly  150  square  miles  of  country, 
was  not  great,  but  it  was  probably  the  full 
value."  There  are  many  who  would  be  glad 
to  get  even  a  decent  sized  piece  of  ground  in 
Province  Wellesley  at  the  present  day  for  the 
price.  So  much  for  confident  assertions  based 
on  superficial  knowledge.  The  consideration 
paid  for  this  new  territory  was  a  good  deal 
more  than  the  2,000  dollars  mentioned  by  the 
writer.  That  sum  was  a  mere  extra — "  the 
little  present  for  the  ladies."  The  real  pay- 
ment was  an  annual  subsidy  of  10,000  dollars 
"so  long  as  the  English  shall  continue  in 
possession  of  Pulo  Pinang  and  the  country  on 
the  opposite  shore." 

In  consequence  possibly  of  the  greater  re- 
sponsibility arising  out  of  this  increase  of 
territory  Pinang,  in  1805,  was  made  a"  presi- 
dency. The  new  regime  was  ushered  in  with 
befitting  pomp  on  September  i8th  of  that  year. 
On  the  day  named  the  East  Indiaman  Ganges 
arrived  with  the  first  Governor,  in  the  person  of 
Mr.  Philip  Dundas,  a  brother  of  the  Chief 
Baron  of  Scotland.  With  Mr.  Dundas  were 
three  councillors  and  a  staff  of  26  British 
officials,  whose  united  salaries,  with  the 
Governor's  and  councillors'  emoluments, 
amounted  to  ;£'43,3oo.  Notable-  in  the  official 
throng  was  Raffles,  who  filled  the  position  of 
Colonial  Secretary,  and  in  that  capacity  gained 
experience  which  was  turned  to  account  in 
Java  and  later  in  the  virgin  administrative  field 
of  Singapore.  The  imposing  reinforcement 
to  the  European  community  which  the  new 
establishment  brought  stirred  the  dry  bones  of 
social  life  in  the  settlement,  and  Pinang  took 
to  itself  airs  and  graces  which  were  unknown 
in  the  days  of  Light's  unassuming  rule  or  even 
in  the  Macdonald  regime.  Very  early  in  the 
new  administration  the  settlement  equipped 
itself  with  a  newspaper.  This  journal  was  first 
known  as  the  Government  Gazette.  It  was  an 
official  organ  only  in  the  sense  that  the  pro- 
prietor, a  Mr.  Bone,  was  subsidised  from  the 
local  exchequer  and  set  apart  a  portion  of  his 
columns  for  official  announcements.  The  nevi^s 
columns  were  largely  filled  with  extracts  from 
home  newspapers — poetrs',  anecdotes,  and 
gossip — calculated  to  interest  the  exile.  Local 
news  occupied  little  space  as  a  rule,  but 
occasionally  the  reporter  would  give  a  glimpse 
of  some  social  function  of  more  than  ordinary 
interest.  Thus,  we  find  in  the  issue  of  Satur- 
day, August  16,  l8o6,  the  following  : 

(One  of  the  earliest  copies  of  the  first  newspaper  pubhshed  in  the  Straits.) 

When  the  writer  of  this  letter  was  afterwards 
asked  regarding  the  nature  of  the  royal  au- 
thority which  he  pleaded,  he  is  said  to  have 
referred  Major  Macdonald  for  particulars  to  his 
Majesty  King  George  the  Third. 

Major  Macdonald  died  in  1799  while  away 
from  the  island.  His  successor  was  Sir  George 
Leith,  who  in  1800  assumed  the  reins  of  office 
with  the  exalted  title  of  Lieutenant-Governor 

but  not  without  difficulty.  There  were  impedi- 
ments raised  at  first  to  the  transfer,  but  on 
adopting  a  hint  given  and  making  "  a  little 
present"  to  the  ladies  of  the  Sultan's  household, 
he  got  his  treaty.  On  Monday,  July  7,  rSoo, 
Sir  George  Leith  took  formal  possession  of  the 
new  territory,  which  was  named  Province 
Wellesley,  after  the  Marquess  of  Wellesley,  the 
then  Governor-General  of  India.     The  acqui- 

"  Tuesday  last  being  the  anniversary  of  the 
birth  of  H.K.H.  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  of  the 
establishment  of  this  settlement,  the  Prince  of 
Wales  Island  Club  held  an  extraordinary  meet- 
ing at  Mr.  NicoU's  hotel,  for  the  purpose  of 
commemorating  the  day.  Xn  elegant  enter- 
tainment was  served  up  by  Mr.  Nicoll  to  the 
members  and  their  friends,  who  continued  to 
keep  up  the  festivities  of  the  day  with  the 
greatest  harmony  and  good  humour  till  an 
early  hour  the  following  morning. 

"  Amongst  the  toasts  were — 



"  H.R.H.  the  Prince  of  Wales,  and  many 
happy  returns  of  the  day  to  him. 

"  Prosperity  to  the  island. 

"  The  King. 

"  The  Queen  and  Royal  Family. 

"  The  Navy  and  Army. 

"  The  memory  of  Mr.  Light,  the  founder  of 
the  settlement. 

"  The  immortal  memory  of  Lord  Nelson. 

"  A  select  few  also  met  to  commemorate  the 
anniversary  of  the  birth  of  H.R.H.  as  Grand 
Patron  and  Grand  Master  of  Masonry.  They 
sat  down  to  a  neat  dinner  provided  at  the 
house  of  a  brother,  and  the  evening  was  spent 
with  the  highest  conviviality  and  good-fellow- 
ship. Among  others  the  subjoined  toasts  were 
drunk  with  great  applause  : 

"H.R.H.  George  Augustus  Frederick,  Grand 
Master  of  Masonry. 

"  The  Mystic  Tie. 

"  Virtue,  Benevolence,  and  Peace  to  all  man- 

"  King  and  the  Craft. 

"  Queen  and  our  sisters. 

"  The  immortal  memory  of  Lord  Nelson. 

"  The  revered  memory  of  Marquess  Corn- 

"  All  Masons  round  the  globe." 

Mr,  Bone's  journalistic  enterprise  continued 
for  some  time  in  the  sun  of  official  favour,  but 
after  a  year  or  two  the  title  of  the  paper  was 
changed  from  the  Government  Gazette  to  the 
Prince  of  Wales  Island  Gazette.  Under  this 
designation  it  prospered  after  a  feeble  fashion, 
with  several  changes  in  the  proprietorship, 
until  it  fell  from  official  grace  and  was  ex- 
tinguished in  circumstances  which  will  be 
hereafter  related. 

The  elevation  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island  into 
a  presidency  was  due  to  a  somewhat  exag- 
gerated view  of  the  value  of  the  settlement 
created  by  the  report  which  Colonel  Wellesley 
had  furnished  on  the  return  of  the  Manilla 
expeditionary  force  to  India.  In  official  circles 
both  in  Calcutta  and  Leadenhall  Street  the 
expectation  based  on  the  favourable  opinions 
expressed  here  and  elsewhere  was  that  Pinang 
would  become  a  great  naval  and  military 
centre  and  a  flourishing  commercial  emporium. 
This  over-sanguine  estimate  led  to  many 
blunders  in  policy,  not  the  least  important  of 
which  was  a  decision  to  restore  Malacca  to  the 
Dutch.  From  this  false  step  the  Court  of 
Directors  was,  as  we  shall  see  when  we  come 
to  deal  with  Malacca,  saved  mainly  by  the 
action  of  Raffles,  who,  after  a  visit  to  the 
settlement,  penned  a  powerful  despatch,  in 
which  he  set  forth  with  such  convincing  force 
the  arguments  for  retention  that  the  Court  can- 
celled their  instructions.  It  was  this  despatch 
which  mainly  brought  Raffles  to  the  notice  of 
Lord  Minto  and  paved  the  way  to  the  position 
of  intimacy  which  he  occupied  in  relation  to 
that  Governor-General  when  he  conducted  his 
expedition  to  Java  in  i8ll.  Pinang,  as  has 
already  been  stated  in  the  opening  section  of 
this  work,  was  the  advanced  base  of  this  impor- 
tant operation.  Over  a  hundred  vessels  were 
engaged  in  the  transport  of  the  force,  which 
consisted  of  5,344  Europeans,  5,777  natives, 
and  839  lascars.  The  resources  of  the  settle- 
ment were  heavily  faxed  to  provide  for  this 

great  force,  but  on  the  whole  the  work  was 
successfully  accomplished,  though  there  was 
considerable  sickness  amongst  the  European 
troops  owing  to  the  excessive  fondness  of  the 
men  for  pineapples,  which  then  as  now  were 
abundant  and  cheap. 

In  these  opening  years  of  the  nineteenth 
century  Prince  of  Wales  Island  witnessed 
many  changes  in  the  Government,  owing  to 
an  abnormal  mortality  amongst  the  leading 
officials.  In  March,  1807,  Mr.  J.  H.  Oliphant, 
the  senior  member  of  Council,  died,  and  the 
next  month  Mr.  Philip  Dundas,  the  Governor, 
expired.  The  new  Governor,  Colonel  Xorman 
■  Macalister,  retired  in  1810,  and  was  succeeded 
by  the  Hon.  C.  A.  Bruce,  a  brother  of  the  Earl 
of  Elgin.  Mr,  Bruce  only  lived  a  few  months 
to  enjoy  the  dignity  of  his  high  position,  his 
death  taking  place  on  December  26,  1810,  at 
the  early  age  of  forty-two.  His  successor,  Mr. 
Seaton,  was  also  removed  by  death  within  a 
very  short  period  of  his  appointment,  and 
strangely  enough  the  two  following  Governors, 
Mr.  Wm.  Petrie  and  Colonel  Bannerman,  did 
not  outlive  their  respective  terms  of  office.  In 
less  than  fourteen  years  Prince  of  Wales  Island 
had  six  chief  administrators,  of  whom  no  fewer 
than  five  died  and  were  buried  on  the  island. 

Notwithstanding  the  frequent  changes  in  the 
administration  and  the  confusion  they  neces- 
sarily caused,  the  progress  of  the  settlement  at 
this  period  was  vminterrupted.  The  population, 
which  in  1791  was  10,310,  had  risen  in  1805  to 
14,000,  and  in  1812,  when  Province  Wellesley 
was  first  brought  into  the  reckoning,  the  return 
showed  a  total  of  26,000  inhabitants  for  the 
entire  administrative  area.  Ten  years  later  the 
figure  for  the  united  territory  had  risen  to 
51,207.  Meanwhile,  the  revenue,  though  sub- 
stantial, was  not  adequate  to  discharge  the 
excessively  heavy  liabilities  imposed  upon  the 
settlement.  There  were  recurring  deficits,  until 
in  the  financial  5'ear  1817-18,  the  excess  of 
expenditure  over  income  reached  no  less  a  figure 
than  164,000  dollars.  A  financial  committee 
was  appointed  to  investigate  matters,  but  as  the 
only  satisfactory  remedy  was  a  severe  cutting 
down  of  salaries,  including  those  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  committee,  naturally  little  or  nothing 
was  done.  It  remained  for  Lord  Wm.  Bentinck, 
on  the  occasion  of  his  historic  visit  in  1827,  to 
use  the  pruning  shears  to  some  effect  upon  the 
bloated  Pinang  establishment.  The  amazing 
thing  is  that  the  remedy  was  so  long  in  being 
applied.  But  nepotism  at  that  time  was  rife  in 
the  Company,  and  doubtless  the  numerous  well- 
paid  official  posts  in  Prince  of  Wales  Island 
were  very  useful  to  the  dispensers  of  patronage 
in  Leadenhall  Street. 

The  establishment  of  an  educational  system 
dates  to  this  early  nineteenth  century  period 
with  which  we  are  dealing.  The  facts,  as  set 
forth  in  a  report  prepared  for  the  information 
of  the  Court  of  Directors  in  1829,  will  be  of 
interest.  In  November,  1815,  at  the  suggestion 
of  the  Rev.  R.  S.  Hutchins,  chaplain  of  the  settle- 
ment, a  committee  was  formed,  consisting  of 
seven  gentlemen,  who  were  entrusted  with  the 
establishment  of  a  school  for  the  instruction 
of  native  children  in  the  most  useful  rudiments 
of  education.  The  school,  it  was  stipulated, 
should  be  conducted  by  a  superintendent,  and 
should  be  open  for  the  reception  of  all  children 

without  preference,  except  for  the  most  poor 
and  friendless.  It  was  further  agreed  that 
all  children  should  be  educated  in  reading  and 
writing  English,  and  in  the  common  rules  of 
arithmetic,  and,  at  a  proper  age,  in  useful 
mechanical  employments.  Great  care  was 
to  be  taken  to  avoid  offending  the  religious 
prejudices  of  any  parties,  while  the  Malays, 
Chinese,  and  Hindustanies  were  to  be  in- 
structed in  their  own  languages  by  appointed 
teachers.  Children  were  to  be  admitted  from 
four  to  fourteen.  The  East  India  Company  con- 
tributed 1,500  dollars,  to  which  was  added  an 
annual  grant  of  200  dollars,  afterwards  reduced 
to  100  dollars  in  pursuance  of  orders  from  the 
Court  of  Directors.  The  Government  of  Prince 
of  Wales  Island  also  granted  a  piece  of  ground 
called  Church  Square  for  the  erection  of  two 
schoolhouses,  one  for  boys  and  the  other  for 
girls.  This  ground  being  required  for  the 
church  erected  about  this  time,  another  site  was 
chosen,  upon  which  the  schools  were  built.  In 
July,  1824,  the  school  was  reported  in  a  pros- 
perous state,  it  having  on  the  rolls  at  that  time 
104  boys  of  different  ages,  and  having  sent  forth 
several  promising  youths,  six  of  whom  had  been 
placed  by  regular  indenture  in  the  pubHc  ser- 
vice. In  January,  1819,  the  Rev.  H.  Medhurst,  a 
missionary  of  the  London  Missionary  Society, 
submitted  to  Government  the  plans  of  a  charity 
school  for  the  instruction  of  Chinese  youth  in 
the  Chinese  language  by  making  them  ac- 
quainted vi/ith  the  ancient  classical  writers  of  the 
Chinese  and  connecting  therewith  the  study 
of  the  Christian  catechism.  The  Government 
granted  a  monthly  allowance  of  20  dollars 
for  the  furtherance  of  the  scheme,  to  which  was 
added  a  further  grant  of  10  dollars  per  month  for 
a  Malay  school.  In  1821  a  piece  of  ground  for 
the  erection  of  a  schoolhouse  was  also  granted 
to  the  society.  In  May,  1823,  the  sum  of  400 
dollars  towards  the  erection  01  a  missionary 
chapel  in  Georgetown  was  also  granted  by  the 
Government.  In  July,  1819,  the  Bishop  of  Cal- 
cutta being  at  Pinang,  a  branch  was  established 
there  of  the  Society  for  the  Promotion  of 
Christian  Knowledge,  to  which  the  Govern- 
ment granted  a  donation  of  200  Spanish  dollars. 
In  April,  1823,  on  the  representation  of  Mr. 
A.  D.  Maingy,  the  superintendent  of  Province 
Wellesley,  four  Malay  schools  were  estab- 
lished there,  the  Government  grant  being  32 
dollars  per  month.  In  November,  1824,  the 
Govei-nment  made  a  grant  of  100  dollars  for 
the  repair  of  the  Roman  Catholic  church  and  30 
dollars  for  the  support  of  three  Roman  Catholic 
schools.  In  1816  the  Government  also  sanc- 
tioned the  grant  of  a  piece  of  land  at  Malacca 
to  Dr.  Milne,  on  behalf  of  the  London  Mission- 
ary Society,  for  the  erection  of  a  mission 
college,  and  in  1818  the  college  was  built. 
Such  were  the  beginnings  of  the  splendid 
educational  system  which  now  permeates  the 


Siamese  Inva.sion  of  Kedah— Development 
OF  Province  Wellesley. 

Troubles  arising  out  of  Siamese  aggression  in 
Kedah  greatly  retarded  the  commercial  deve- 
lopment of   the  settlement   in    1815  and    the 

C  "" 



following  years.  The  Sultan  who  had  con- 
cluded the  first  treaty  with  the  British  had 
died,  and  his  son  reigned  in  his  stead.  Bui 
the  idea  that  the  British  in  accepting  Pinang 
had  bound  themselves  to  protect  Kedah  from 
invasion  had  survived,  and  in  1810  the  new 
Sultan  had  addressed  a  powerful  appeal  to 
Lord  Minto  as  he  passed  through  Pinang 
on  his  way  to  Java,  imploring  him  to  carry  out 
the — to  him — essential  condition  of  the  original 
contract.  The  letter,  which  is  given  in  full  in 
Anderson's  "  Conquest  of  Quedah  and  Peral<," 
concludes  as  follows  : 

"  I  request  that  the  engagements  contracted 
for  by  Mr.  Light  with  my  late  father  may  be 
ratified,  as  my  country  and  I  are  deficient  in 
strength  ;  the  favour  of  his  Majesty  the  King 
of  England  extended  to  me  will  render  his 
name  illustrious  for  justice  and  beneficence, 
and  the  grace  of  his  Majesty  will  fill  me  with 
gratitude  ;  under  the  power  and  majesty  of 
the  King  I  desire  to  repose  in  safety  from 
the  attempts  of  all  my  enemies,  and  that  the 
King  may  be  disposed  to  kindness  and  favour 
towards  me,  as  if  I  were  his  own  subject,  that 
he  will  be  pleased  to  issue  his  commands  to 
the  Governor  of  Pinang  to  afford  me  aid  and 
assistance  in  my  distresses  and  dangers,  and 
cause  a  regulation  to  be  made  by  which  the  two 
countries  may  have  but  one  interest  ;  in  like 
manner  I  shall  not  refuse  any  aid  to  Pinang 
consistent  with  my  ability.  I  further  request  a 
writing  from  the  King  and  from  my  friend,  that 
it  may  remain  as  an  assurance  of  the  protection 
of  the  King  and  descend  to  my  successors  in  the 
government.  I  place  a  perfect  reliance  in  the 
favour  and  aid  of  my  friend  in  all  these 

In  his  comment  on  the  letter  Anderson 
says  :  "  The  whole  of  Mr.  light's  correspon- 
dence is  corroborative  of  this  candid  exposition, 
and  it  was  quite  inconsistent  with  reason  to 
suppose  that  Pinang  was  ceded  without  some 
very  powerful  inducements  in  the  way  of 
promises  by  Mr.  Light,  which,  no  doubt,  in 
his  eagerness  to  obtain  the  grant,  were  liberal 
and  almost  unlimited,  and  that  his  inability  to 
perform  them  was  the  cause  of  much  mental 
suffering  to  him."  It  does  not  appear  that  any 
answer  was  given  to  the  Sultan's  letter.  The 
request  for  aid  at  all  events  was  rejected,  and 
the  Sultan  was  left  to  his  fate.  This  was 
somewhat  long  deferred,  but  the  blow  was 
swift  and  remorseless  when  it  was  delivered. 
Equipping  a  large  force,  the  Siamese  in  1821 
appeared  in  the  Kedah  river,  and  landing  there, 
commenced  to  slay  and  pillage  without  provo- 
cation or  warning.  They  conducted  a  ruthless 
warfare  for  days,  leaving  behind  them  wher- 
ever they  went  a  track  of  wasted  country  and 
slain  and  outraged  victims.  The  Sultan  with 
difficulty  escaped  to  Province  Wellesley  and 
thence  to  Pinang,  where  he  was  kindly 
received  by  Mr.  W.  E.  Phillips,  Colonel  Ban- 
nerman's  successor  in  the  government.  He 
was  granted  an  allowance  for  his  maintenance 
and  a  force  of  sepoys  as  a  guard.  A  few  days 
after  his  arrival  an  insolent  demand  was  made 
by  the  Raja  of  Lingore,  on  behalf  of  the 
Siamese,  for  his  surrender,  and  when  this  was 
refused  in  emphatic  terms,  a  fleet  of  one 
hundred  war  prahus  was  sent  into  Pinang 
harbour  to  take  possession  of  the  unfortunate 

Sultan  by  force  in  default  of  his  peaceful  sur- 
render. The  answer  to  this  impudent  move 
was  the  despatch  of  the  gunboat  Nautilus  to  the 
vicinity  of  the  leading  war  prahu,  with  orders 
to  the  Siamese  commodore  to  leave  the  harbour 
instantly  or  prepare  for  action.  The  hint  was 
immediately  taken.  In  a  very  brief  space  of 
time  every  prahu  had  left.  The  Sultan  chafed 
under  the  loss  of  his  territory,  and  the  other 
Malay  chiefs  were  not  less  indignant  at  the 
wanton  aggression  committed  upon  one  of  their 
number.  In  a  short  time  the  fugitive  prince's 
residence  became  the  centre  of  plots  and  in- 
trigues for  the  recapture  of  the  lost  territory. 
The  local  Government,  with  a  lively  fear  of 
complications  with  the  Siamese  before  them, 
did  their  utmost  to  put  a  stop  to  these  man- 
oeuvres, but  without  much  success.  On  April 
28,  1823,  an  attempt  was  actually  made  by  a 
force  commanded  by  Tunku  Abdullah,  the 
eldest  son  of  the  Sultan,  to  oust  the  Siamese. 
It  was  completely  unsuccessful,  and  Tunku 
Abdullah  was  left  a  prisoner  in  the  Siamese 
hands.  A  protest  was  lodged  with  the  British 
against  the  use  of  Province  Wellesley  for  the 
equipment  of  this  expedition.  The  reply  made 
by  Mr,  Phillips  to  the  communication  was  that 
he  could  not  prevent  such  inroads  without 
imitating  Siamese  methods,  which  was  out  of 
the  question.  At  the  same  time  the  Govern- 
ment were  seriouslj'  alarmed  at  the  anomalous 
state  of  affairs  created  by  the  continued 
residence  of  the  Raja  at  Pinang,  and  after 
repeated  and  ineffectual  warnings  that  his 
efforts  to  reconquer  his  territory  would  not  be 
tolerated,  they  shipped  him  off  to  Malacca  to 
keep  him  out  of  mischief.  He  closed  his  life 
in  exile,  a  victim,  it  is  to  be  feared  it  must  be 
admitted,  of  an  unfulfilled  contract. 

An  immediate  effect  of  the  conquest  of 
Kedah  by  the  Siamese  was  the  filliiig  of 
Province  Wellesley  with  great  bodies  of 
refugees.  In  the  early  days  of  the  invasion 
thousands  of  these  unfortunates  crossed  the 
border  to  escape  the  diabolical  cruelties  prac- 
tised by  the  Siamese  upon  all  who  fell  into 
their  hands.  Many  of  them  were  in  a  starving 
condition,  and  without  resources  of  any  kind. 
The  Government  authorities  in  the  province 
exerted  themselves  to  succour  the  wretched 
fugitives,  and  with  such  success  that  soon  a 
considerable  number  of  them  were  settled  on 
the  land  in  comparative  comfort.  It  was 
fortunate  that  at  this  period  the  local  direction 
of  affairs  was  in  the  capable  hands  of  Mr. 
Maingy,  a  humane  and  resourceful  man,  who 
took  a  real  interest  in  developing  the  latent 
resources  of  the  province.  Under  his  super- 
vision roads  were  made  in  various  directions 
by  convicts,  and  convicts  were  also  employed 
in  cutting  drains  and  channels  for  irrigation  of 
paddy  fields  and  in  opening  arteries  of  com- 
munication between  different  rivers.  He  made 
small  advances  to  each  of  the  cultivators  to 
encourage  cultivation,  and  obtained  at  his  own 
expense  from  Calcutta  indigo  seeds,  together 
with  a  person  competent  to  teach  the  process 
of  concreting  the-  dye,  in  order  to  establish 
a  system  of  indigo  cultivation.  Meanwhile, 
with  the  support  and  sanction  of  Govern- 
ment, he  opened  native  schools  at  Teluk  Ayer, 
Tawar,  and  Prye,  for  the  education  of  natives. 
The   rapid  growth  of  the  agricultural  interest 

in  the  province  had,  somewhat  earlier  than 
the  period  at  which  the  events  just  narrated 
occurred,  induced  the  Government  to  establish 
a  regular  system  of  administration  in  the  main- 
land area.  The  province  in  1820  was  divided 
into  four  distinct  districts,  each  under  an 
official,  who  was  provided  with  a  police  estab- 
lishment and  a  small  military  guard.  The 
whole  was  under  a  superintendent.  These 
and  other  beneficent  measures  had  their  due 
effect,  and  soon  the  province,  which  had 
hitherto  been  a  sort  of  Malayan  Alsatia  to 
which  all  sorts  of  bad  characters  resorted, 
became  a  centre  of  thriving  industry. 

It  is  to  this  period  we  may  date  the  rise 
of  the  great  planting  industry  which  now 
occupies  so  important  a  place  in  the  com- 
mercial Hie  of  the  settlements.  A  communica- 
tion written  by  Mr.  Phillips  on  September  18, 
1823,  reported  to  the  Court  of  Directors  the 
commencement  of  a  S5'stem  of  coffee  planting 
on  a  large  scale.  Some  passages  from  this 
document  may  be  quoted,  as  they  throw  an 
interesting  light  on  the  history  of  the  industry. 
Mr.  Phillips  stated  that  he  had  received  a 
letter  from  Mr.  David  Brown,  "  the  most  exten- 
sjve  landliolder,  and  certainly  one  of  the  most 
ii-(telligent  and  public-spirited  Europeans  on 
this  island,  reporting  that  he  has  planted 
upwards  of  100,000  coffee  trees  and  cleared 
forests  to  enable  him  to  complete  the  number 
tp  300,000,  and  requesting  our  sanction  to  his 
extending  the  cultivation,  as  the  progress  of 
the  coffee  plants  hitherto  planted  by  himself 
and  others  engaged  in  this  speculation  holds 
out  every  prospect  of  the  successful  production 
of  this  article  on  the  island  and  no  doubt  on 
the  adjacent  continent.  We  shall,  of  course, 
lose  no  time  in  complying  with  Mr.  Brown's 
request."  Mr.  Phillips  went  on  to  submit 
certain  considerations  as  to  the  expediency  of 
improving  the  agricultural  and  other  resources 
of  the  settlement.     He  proceeded  : 

"  Our  climate  is  temperate  and  without  any 
sudden  or  great  vicissitudes  throughout  the 
year,  and  our  lands  are  never  subject  to  such 
parching  heats  or  destructive  inundations  as 
those  of  Bengal,  whilst  our  inhabitants  enjoy 
the  blessings  and  security  of  a  British  system 
of  government  and  law,  of  the  want  of  which 
at  Java  the  English  residents  there  seem  to 
be  daily  more  and  more  sensible.  No  appre- 
hensions also  against  colonisation  are  enter- 
tained here,  and  European  settlers  have  always 
been  allowed,  as  appears  by  our  Pre.sident's 
minute  of  the  15th  of  August  last,  to  possess  as 
much  land  as  they  please  and  to  hold  it  as 
freehold  property.  Hitherto  the  want  of 
adequate  capital  and  the  paucity  of  enterprising 
individuals  have  restricted  our  objects  of  culti- 
vation to  pepper,  which  has  never  received 
any  encouragement  from  your  Honourable 
Court,  and  which  is  one  of  the  most  expensive 
articles  of  culture,  and  to  cloves  and  nutmegs, 
which  private  individuals  have  continued  to 
cultivate,  notwithstanding  all  public  encour- 
agement was  withdrawn  in  the  year  180S, 
and  which  now  at  last  promise  to  be  bene- 
ficial to  them,  a  very  favourable  report  of 
some  samples  lately  sent  to  Europe  having 
been  just  received.  Mr.  Brown  and  other 
persons,  however,  in  the  year  1821,  conceiving 
that  the  soil  and   climate  of  our  hills  were 

The  Chinese  Mills,  Pin-anc.  ^.  the  Great  Tkee.  3.  Glu«or  House  and  Spice  Plantation. 

(From  Danjell's  "Views  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island.") 



well  adapted  for  the  production  of  coffee, 
applied  to  us  for  permission  to  clear  lands  for 
the  purpose,  and  we  are  happy  to  acquaint 
your  Honourable  Court  that  whatever  may 
be  the  success  with  which  these  gentlemen 
may  eventually  have  to  congratulate  themselves, 
one  very  decided  and  important  advantage 
has  already  accrued,  to  the  public  from  the 
exertions  which  these  public-spirited  in- 
dividuals have  made  to  introduce  the  cultivation 
of  coffee  on  the  island.  They  have  found 
employment  for  hundreds  of  our  new  settlers, 
the  miserable  refugees  from  Kedah,  and  opened 
to  our  poor  a  prospect  of  much  additional 
employment,  particularly  for  our  old  Chinese 
settlers.  Were  your  Honourable  Court  to 
make  known  generally  in  England  the  advan- 
tages of  this  island  in  point  of  climate,  situa- 
tion, and  other  circumstances,  and  to  encourage 
the  resort  hither  of  respectable  individuals, 
in  possession  of  small  capital,  desirous  of 
emigrating,  we  are  confident  that  many  per- 
sons would  see  cause  for  agreeing  with  us  that 
this  settlement  affords  a  finer  field  for  agri- 
cultural enterprise,  and  for  obtaining  an  easy 
and  secure  livelihood,  and  ultimately  a  com- 
fortable competency,  than  Java,  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope,  or  Canada."  ' 

The  coffee  e.xperiment  unfortunately  did  not 
prove  the  success  that  was  anticipated,  but 
the  exertions  of  Mr.  Brown  and  other  pioneer 
planters  were  not  without  their  influence  in 
the  development  of  the  territory  under  the 
Straits  Government.  One  indirect  consequence 
was  the  institution  of  a  regular  system  of  land 
settlement.  The  arrangements  for  land  transfer 
had  up  to  this  period  been  in  a  very  confused 
state,  owing  to  the  laxity  observed  in  the  trans- 
actions. At  the  outset,  to  encourage  settlers. 
Light  had  caused  it  to  be  known  that  free 
grants  of  land  would  be  made  to  all  suitable 
applicants.  This  pledge  had  been  confirmed 
by  Government,  and  land  from  time  to  time 
was  taken  up. .  Changes  were  subsequently 
introduced  without  any  particular  method,  so 
that  eventually  there  were  no  fewer  than 
seven  different  systems  of  tenure.  Xew  regu- 
lations were  formulated  as  a  consequence  of 
the  influx  of  settlers,  and  the  entire  system  was 
put  on  a  more  business-like  footing.  Meanwhile, 
a  complete  survey  of  Pinang  and  of  the 
boundaries  of  Province  Wellesley  had  been 
made.  In  a  letter  of  August  24,  1820,  to  the 
Court  of  Directors,  the  Governor,  referring 
to  this  survey,  said  it  was  "likely  to. prove  of 
more  interest  than  any  hitherto  prepared  at 
such  enormous  expense  by  successive  sur- 
veyors. A  document  of  the  kind  has  long 
been  required  to  regulate  the  distribution  of 
grants  of  land  to  the  numerous  claimants  who 
have  made  application  to  clear  the  land  on  the 
opposite  shore.  The  present  state  of  the  coast 
entirely  demands  our  earliest  consideration 
with  reference  to  the  advantages  it  may  be 
calculated  to  afford  to  this  island  in  supplying 
provisions,  &c.,  and  also  in  extending  and 
promoting  our  agricultural  interests." 

Simultaneously  with  the  development  of  the 
planting  industry  was  carried  through  a  series 
of  public  works  with  the  object  of  opening 
up  the  country  and  improving  the  means  of 
communication  between  the  different  parts  of 
■  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  No.  183. 

the  territory.  The  most  important  of  these 
enterprises  was  a  road  through  the  hills  at 
the  back  of  Georgetown.  Colonel  Bannerman 
initiated  the  work  in  1818,  and  under  his 
energetic  direction  the  first  section  was  rapidly 
constructed  with  convict  labour.  Shortly  after 
his  death  the  work  was  suspended  for  lack  of 
funds,  and  was  not  resumed  until  many  years 
later,  when  it  was  pushed  to  completion,  greatly 
to  the  advantage  of  the  island.  Colonel  Ban- 
nerman was  not  in  some  respects  a  wise  ad- 
ministrator, but  it  is  to  his  lasting  credit  that 
he  was  the  first  to  grasp  the  essential  fact  that 
the  progress  of  the  colony  was  dependent  upon 
the  improvement  of  the  means  of  communica- 
tion, which  up  to  that  period  had  been  almost 
entirely  neglected. 

The  development  of  Province  Wellesley 
went  hand  in  hand  with  an  extension  of  the 
Company's  influence  in  the  adjacent  native 
States.  Actuated  by  a  fear  of  Dutch  aggression 
in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  Pinang,  Colonel 
Bannerman  in  iSi8  despatched  Mr.  W.  S. 
Cracroft,  an  able  official,  to  Perak  and  Selangor 
to  conclude  treaties  with  the  rulers  of  those 
States.  His  mission  was  a  complete  success. 
He  brought  back  with  him  agreements  which 
pledged  the  two  chiefs  to  maintain  ties  of 
friendship  with  the  British  and  not  to  renew 
obsolete  agreements  with  other  Powers  which 
might  tend  to  exclude  or  obstruct  the  trade  of 
British  subjects.  Subsequently  a  subsidiary 
arrangement  was  made  with  the  Raja  of 
Selangor  by  Mr.  Anderson,  the  author  of  the 
well-knovi'n  work  on  Kedah  from  which  a 
quotation  has'  been  made  above,  by  which 
t'.:e  Prince  contracted  to  supply  the  Company 
with  a  certain  quantity  of  tin  for  sale.  Under 
the  contract  a  considerable  amount  of  tin  was 
brought  down  to  the  coast  by  way  of  the 
Muda  river  and  there  sold.  In  1819  the  sales 
amounted  to  650  bahars  or  1,950  piculs.  The 
tin  was  purchased  by  the  commanders  of  the 
Company's  ships  General  Harris  and  Warren 
Hastings  at  the  rate  of  18  dollars  per  picul 
(£^2  los.  8d.  per  ton).  After,  deducting  all 
charges  against  the  import  there  was  a  clear 
profit  on  the  transaction  of  5,396.41  Spanish 
dollars.  Mr.  Anderson,  who  was  designated 
the  Government  Agent  for  Tin,  received  one- 
third  of  the  amount.  The  Government  were 
well  satisfied  with  the  results  of  the  transac- 
tion. They  decided,  however,  that  it  would 
not  be  wise  for  them  to  prosecute  the  tin  trade, 
but  rather  to  leave  it  to  individual  merchants 
"  who  would  be  more  particularly  concerned 
in  its  successful  prosecution."  After  this  the 
trade  was  carried  on  intermittently,  but  in 
1827  we  find  in  the  official  records  an  ex- 
pression of  regret  that  '.'  the  jealousy  and 
aggrandising  spirit  of  the  Siamese  authorities 
at  Kedah  has  hitherto  rendered  ineffectual  our 
endeavours  to  prosecute  the. tin  trade  with 

In  another  direction  we  have  evidence  that 
at  this  juncture  in  the  life  of  the  settlement  the 
importance  of  a  widened  sphere  of  influence 
was  being  recognised.  In  or  about  the  year 
1819  a  Captain  John  Mein  approached  the 
Pinang  Government  with  an  offer  of  the  island 
of  Pangkor,  which  he  said  had  been  given  to 
him  by  the  King.  In  forwarding  the  com- 
munication   to    the    Court    of    Directors    the 

Governor  wrote :  "  We  do  not  know  what 
claim  Captain  Mein  may  be  able  to  establish — 
it  was  evident  that  the  late  King  of  Perak  was 
not  of  sound  intellect,  and  it  appears  that  the 
reputed  grant  to  Captain  Mein  of  this  island 
was  not  made  valid  by  the  seals  and  signa- 
tures of  the  constitutional  authorities  of  the 
country."  '  Captain  Mein's  ambitious  venture 
in  islandmongering  missed  fire,  but  at  a  later 
period,  when  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  concluded  the 
Treaty  of  Pangkor  in  1874,  the  island,  with  a 
strip  of  territory  on  the  mainland,  was  brought 
under  British  rule,  the  whole  being  officially 
designated  the  Bindings. 

The  history  of  the  question  subsequent  to  the 
rejection  of  Captain  Mein's  offer  may  be  briefly 
related.  On  October  18,  1826,  a  treaty  was 
concluded  between  the  Straits  Government  and 
that  of  Perak,  by  which  the  latter  ceded  to  the 
former  "  the  Pulo  Dinding  and  the  islands  of 
Pangkor,  together  with  all  and  every  one  of  the 
islands  which  belonged  of  old  and  until  this 
period  to  the  Kings  of  Perak,  because  the  said 
islands  afford  a  safe  abode  to  the  pirates  and 
robbers  who  plunder  and  molest  the  traders  on 
the  coast  and  inhabitants  of  the  mainland,  and 
as  the  King  of  Perak  has  not  the  means  to  drive 
those  pirates,  &c.,  away."  It  does  not  appear 
that  the  Government  ever  took  formal  posses- 
sion of  the  islands.  In  the  sixties,  Colonel  Man, 
then  Resident  Councillor  at  Pinang,  pointed 
out  to  the  local  Government  that  it  would  be  to 
the  interest  of  the  settlements  to  occupy  these 
islands,  and  he  was  authorised  to  visit  them 
in  the  Government  steamer,  with  the  view  of 
ascertaining  what  steps  it  was  advisable  to  take. 
Colonel  Man's  views  of  the  advantages  of 
taking  possession  of  the  island  were  fully 
confirmed  by  his  visit,  but  he  found  it  very 
difficult  to  ascertain  precisely  what  territoi-y 
had  been  ceded,  and  the  prospect  of  an  early 
transfer  of  the  settlements  to  the  Crown  put  a 
stop  to  all  further  action  except  that  a  grant 
was  given  to  two  men  to  clear  130  acres  of 
land  in  the  island  known  as  Pulo  Pangkor  Laut. 
On  Sir  Harry  Ord's  arrival  in  the  Straits, 
Colonel  Man  brought  to  his  notice  the  right 
which  the  British  possessed  to  the  islands,  and 
urged  the  advantages  which  would  accrue  from 
taking  possession  of  them.  At  the  same  time 
he  pointed  out  the  difficulty  of  ascertaining 
exactly  what  land  had  been  handed  over  by 
the  treaty,  and  suggested  that,  as  there  were 
only  two  islands  standing  out  in  the  sea 
opposite  the  Dinding  river  and  a  small  one  to 
the  west  of  it,  the  other  islands  "  must  be 
sought  for  in  some  of  the  land  at  the  mouth  of 
these  rivers,  which  was  separated  from  the 
mainland  by  the  numerous  creeks  traversing  it." 
As  a  result  of  this  communication  Sir  Harry 
Ord  instructed  Colonel  Man  to  enter  into 
negotiation  with  the  Laksamana,  a  high  officer 
of  the  Sultan  of  Perak,  who  was  then  in 
Pinang,  with  the  view  to  the  completion  of  an 
understanding  on  this  point.  Colonel  Man 
followed  out  his  instructions,  but  left  for  India 
before  the  negotiations  were  completed. 
Later  they  were  carried  on  by  Captain  Playfair, 
and  meanwhile  Sir  Harry  Ord  paid  a  visit  to 
the  Bindings  and  convinced  himself  that  the 
cession  of  1826  included  portions  of  the  land 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Dindings  opposite  Pulo 
'  Ibid.,  \o.  182. 



Pangkor,  because  "  the  cession  would  have  been 
perfectly  useless  for  the  suppression  of  piracy, 
since  on  the  appearance  of  our  vessels  or  boats 
off  Pulo  Pangkor  the  pirates  could  at'once  have 
taken  refuge  among  these  islands,  where  they 
would  have  been  quite  safe  from  pursuit." 

The  Sultan  of  Perak  at  this  time  was  not 
inclined  to  do  business  on  the  basis  required, 
and  as  direct  orders  had  come  out  from 
England  that  no  action  involving  the  occupation 
of  disputed  territory  should  be  ta}cen  without 
specific  instructions,  the  matter  was  allowed  to 
drop  for  the  time  being.  Sir  Andrew  Clarke 
had  some  little  difliculty  in  securing  adhesion 
to  his  proposals,  which  took  the  most  compre- 
hensive view  of  the  original  arrangement.  But 
eventually  the  question  was  satisfactorily 
adjusted.  In  this  way  command  was  obtained 
of  the  entrance  to  the  river,  a  position  of 
considerable  strategical  value  and  of  some 
commercial  importance. 

At  the  same  time  that  Sir  Andrew  Clarke 
concluded  this  excellent  bargain  he  arranged  a 
useful  readjustment  of  theboundariesin  Province 
Wellesley.  The  matter  related  to  the  southern 
boundary,  which  as  originally  drawn  had  been 
found  extremely  inconvenient  for  both  police 
and  revenue  purposes.  On  this  point  the 
chiefs  displayed  an  accommodating  spirit,  and 
by  arrangement  the  British  territory  was 
extended  so  as  to  include  all  the  land  in  the 
watershed  of  the  Krian,  the  tracing  out  of  the 
boundary  being  left  for  a  .commission  to  carry 
out  subsequently. 

of  this  station  does  not  consist  in  those  staples, 
it  appeared  no  more  than  just  that  the  trade 
which  our  merchants  conduct  with  Europe 
and  China,  and  which,  taken  to  other  ports  in 
India,  would  there  be  subject  to  duty,  should 
contribute  something  towards  the  maintenance 
of  this  port,  of  which  they  make  such  profitable 
use,  and  particularly  as  duties  in  such  cases 
must  ultimately  be  borne  by  foreigners  and 
not  by  the  subjects  of  British  India."  After 
a  reference  to  the  lightness  of  the  port  dues 
the  despatch  proceeded ;  "  We  earnestly 
wished  to  impress  upon  their  minds  the  con- 
viction that,  independent  of  such  share  of  the 
commerce  of  the  Eastern  Archipelago  as 
might  come  on  to  them  from  Singapore,  the 


pin'ang    made  a  free  port — government 
Regulation  of  the  Press. 

The  occupation  of  Singapore  had  a  very 
injurious  effect  upon  Pinang  trade.  Native 
vessels  from  China,  which  formerly  made 
Pinang  their  principal  port  of  call,  stopped 
short  at  the  new  settlement,  which,  besides 
being  more  conveniently  situated  for  their 
purposes,  had  the  considerable  advantage  of 
being  absolutely  free.  The  mercantile  com- 
munity of  Pinang,  feeling  the  pinch  acutely, 
petitioned  the  Government  for  the  extension 
to  the  settlement  of  the  unrestricted  system  of 
trade  which  obtained  at  the  rival  port.  The 
reception  their  demand  met  with  was  not 
particularly  cordial.  The  Governor,  in  a  de- 
spatch to  the  Court  of  Directors  on  the  subject 
on  September  i8,  1823,  made  note  of  "  the 
extraordinary  circumstance  of  a  body  of 
merchants  allowing  themselves  to  recommend 
to  the  Government  under  the  protection  of 
which  they  are  enabled  to  conduct  a  lucrative 
commerce  such  a  measure  as  the  immediate 
abolition  of  one  of  the  most  important  branches 
of  its  establishment."  The  Governor  stated 
that  in  his  reply  to  the  petition  he  remarked 
that  it  was  politic  and  reasonable  that  every 
possible  freedom  should  be  given  at  Pinang 
to  the  sale  of  the  staples  of  continental  India 
and  to  the  property  of  the  merchants  of  the 
other  presidencies,  as  these  had  already  con- 
tributed towards  the  revenues  of  those  places, 
"but  that  as  a  valuable  portion  of  the  commerce 

articles  of  the  Pegu  country  must  always 
attract  from  Europe,  China,  and  India  a  large 
and  profitable  commerce  to  centre  and  flourish 
here  ;  and  to  these  more  natural  branches 
of  our  trade  we  particularly  invited  their 
attention."  The  despatch  ended  as  follows  : 
"  We  cannot  conclude  without  soliciting  your 
Honourable  Court's  particular  consideration  of 
the  difficulties  noticed  in  our  President's 
minute  of  the  12th  July  last,  which  we  have 
experienced  and  still  experience  in  discoun- 
tenancing and  allaying  everything  like  jealousy 
between  Singapore  and  this  island,  and  in 
establishing  a  bond  of  union  and  sisterly 
affection  between  the  two  settlements.  .As 
long  as   that  factory,   placed   as  it  is   in  the 


(From  Daniell's  "Viewy  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island.") 

situation  of  this  island  with  respect  to  the 
pepper  staple  of  the  east  and  west  coasts  of 
Sumatra,  betul  nut  of  Achin,  tin  of  Junk 
Ceylon  and  Malayan  Peninsula,  bird's  nest 
of    Mergui,    and    oil,    teak-wood,    and    other 

immediate  neighbourhood  of  this  island,  is 
governed  by  a  distant  authority  and  different 
system  of  government,  and  enjoys  an  exemp- 
tion from  all  duties,  your  Honourable  Court 
cannot  be  surprised  that  the  personal  e.xertions 



o£  this  Board  cannot  accomplish  the  objects 
of  our  increasing  wish  and  endeavour— the 
putting  a  stop  to  the  baneful  effects  of  mer- 
cantile jealousy  and  of  those  differences  which 
utjhappily  occurred  on  the  first  occupation  of 
Singapore." '_ 

The  obvious  aim  of  the  despatch  was  not 
to  obtain  an  immunity  from  imposts  for  the 
trade  of  Pinang,  hut  to  secure  the  abandon- 
meni  of  the  Free  Trade  system  in  Singapore. 
The  Court  of  Directors,  however,  were  too 
sensible  of  the  advantages  to  be  derived 
from  the  maintenance  of  the  oren  door  at 
Singapore  to  listen  to  the  specious  reasoning 
of  the  Pinang  Government.  They  confined 
their  action  to  sanctioning  a  rearrangement  of 
port  dues  at  Pinang,  by  which  the  shipping 
trade  derived  some  relief.  The  Pinang  mer- 
cantile commiinity  found  little  comfort  in  the 
concession  rilade  to  them.  They  were  the 
less  disposed  to  take  a  roseate  view  of  affairs 
as  the  Company  at  this  critical  juncture  had 
ihstructed  Ctiina  ships  not  to  call  at  Pinang. 
Even  the  Government  were  alarmed  at  the 
situation  the  order  created.  They  wrote  home 
beseeching  the  Court  "  not  to  be  so  harsh  and 
severe  to  this  settlement  as  to  put  a  stop  at 
once  to  the  valuable  trade  which  our  merchants 
have  conducted  by  means  of  our  ships  with 
Europe  and  China  during  the  last  thirt\'-five 
years."  The_  obnoxious  order  was  modified, 
but  the  mercantile  community  of  Pinang  had 
to  wait  until  the  year  1827  before  they  were 
placed  on  an  equal  footing  with  their  com- 
petitors in  Singapore  by  the  abolition  of  the 
customs  duties  at  the  port.  Two  years  before 
this  step  was  taken  Mr.  FuUerton,  the  Governor 
of  the  united  settlements,  had  written  home 
bringing  to  the  notice  of  the  Court  the  advan- 
tage that  might  result  from  the  use  of  a  few 
steamboats  in  the  Straits.  "  Perhaps,"  he 
said  with  prophetic  vision,  "  there  is  no  place 
in  the  world  where  they  would  be  so  useful — 
those  of  a  sihaller  class  in  following  pirates, 
and  the  larger  in  towing  vessels  in  and  out 
of  the  harbour,  and  even  down  the  Straits, 
where  calms  so  constantly  prevail."  With  a'l 
his  prescience,  Mr.  Fullerton  could  not  antici- 
pate the  time  when  steamboats  would  make 
the  entire  voyage  and  the  sailing  ship  would 
be  almost  an'  anachronism  in  the  Straits  as 
far  as  the  main  through  trade  was  concerned. 

The  abolition  of  the  customs  duties  at 
Pinang  coincided  with  the  establishment  of 
a  regular  market  system.  Up  to  1.827  the 
privilege  of  holding  a  market,  together  with 
the  right  of  .levying  certain  duties  on  grain 
to  defray  the  charges  of  maintenance,  was 
leased  out.  The  last  lessee  was  Mr.  David 
Brown,  the  'enterprising  planter  to  whom 
reference  has  already  been  made.  Mr.  Brown 
had  a  ten  years'  lease  dating  from  May,  1817. 
He  died  before  it  terminated,  but  the  market 
was  carried  o;i  by  his  son.  On  the  expiration 
of  the  term  of  the  lease  the  Government, 
"  considering  the  system  of  taxing  grain 
extremely  objectionable,  especially  as  the  port 
has  been  relieved  of  all  duties,"  took  measures 
to  establish  a  new  market  on  the  principle  of 
the  Singapore  market,  where  the  revenue  was 
raised  from  the  rents  of  the  stalls.  Mr. 
Brown  offered  the  old  market  to  the  Govern- 
■  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  183. 

ment  for  25,000  dollars  ;  but  the  offer  was 
declined  and  10,000  dollars  were  sanctioned 
for  the  construction  of  a  new  building. 

In  an  earlier  portion  of  this  historical  survey 
there  is  an  account  of  the  launching  of  a  news- 
paper at  Pinang  and  of  its  happy  existence  in 
the  light  of  official  favour.  In  1829  this  journal 
— the  Peuang  Gazette,  as  it  had  by  this  time 
come  to  be  designated — changed  its  proprietors, 
for  reasons  not  unconnected  with  official  objec- 
tions to  the  manner  in  which  the  paper  was 
conducted.  Under  the  new  proprietor  the 
journal  was  issued  as  the  Henaiig  Register  and 
Miscellany,  and  the  opening  number  seemed  to 
indicate  that  the  altered  title  was  to  be  asso- 
ciated with  a  more  reverential  attitude  towards 
the  great,  the  wise,  and  the  eminent  of  the  Pinang 
official  hierarchy.  The  editor  in  his  opening 
confession  of  faith  spoke  of  the  restrictions 
upon  the  press  as  having  been  "  no  doubt 
wisely  "  introduced,  and  when  taken  to  task  by 
a  Singapore  scribe  for  this  subserviency,  he 
ingenuously  argued  that  the  press  was  really  free 
if  it  liked,  but  that  as  it  accepted  otHcial  doles 
the  Government  naturally  demanded  their  quid 
pro  qno.  The  writer  supported  his  views  by 
quoting  the  remark  of  "  an  odd  little  body  at 
Malacca."  "  What  !  "  said  this  individual,  "  do 
you  think  we  are  fools  enough  to  pay  these 
gents  for  picking  holes  in  our  Sunday  coats  ?  " 
This  free-and-easy  theory  of  the  censorship  as 
a  matter  controlled  by  the  subsidy  did  not  find 
favour  in  exalted  quarters,  and  there  was  in- 
creasing friction  between  the  newspaper  office 
and  the  secretariat.  A  crisis  was  at  length 
reached  when  one  day  the  editor,  finding  that 
a  paragraph  had  been  deleted  by  the  censor, 
had  the  offending  matter  printed  on  a  separate 
slip  of  paper  and  circulated  throughout  the 
settlement.  Mr.  Fullerton  was  furious  at  this 
flagrant  defiance  of  authority,  and  caused  a 
letter  to  be  sent  to  the  editor,  a  Mr.  Ballhotchet, 
demanding  an  explanation.  The  missive  was 
returned  unopened.  What  the  next  step  was 
history  does  not  reveal,  but  we  have  a  record  of 
a  hot  correspondence  between  the  offending 
journalist  and  the  Secretary  to  Government, 
terminating  in  the  issue  of  an  edict  that  the 
proprietor  of  the  paper,  a  Mr.  Mclntyre,  who 
was  a  clerk  in  the  office  of  the  Superintendent 
of  Lands,  should  be  dismissed  from  his  office, 
and  that  Mr.  Ballhotchet's  licence  to  reside  in 
the  settlement  should  be  withdrawn.  This 
drastic  action  was  subsequently  modified  to  the 
extent  that  the  expulsion  decree  in  the  latter's 
case  was  withdrawn  "in  consideration  of  the 
measure  of  punishment  he  has  already  re- 
ceived," and  on  the  understanding  that  he 
would  have  to  go  if  he  "misconducted"  himself 
again.  Almost  needless  to  say,  the  Penang 
Register  and  Miscellany  did  not  survive  this 
cataclysm.  But  Pinang  was  not  left  without  a 
newspaper.  In  this  crisis  in  its  history  the 
Government  gallantly  stepped  into  the  breach, 
and  issued  a  paper  of  their  own  under  the  old 
title  of  the  Government  Gazette.  The  editor  of 
the  official  journal  entered  upon  his  duties  with 
becoming  modesty.  In  his  opening  address  to 
his  readers  he  opined  that  "  a  new  paper  lies 
under  the  same  disadvantages  as  a  new  play — 
there  is  a  danger  lest  it  be  new  without 
novelty.''  "  In  common,  therefore,  with  all 
other  periodical  compilers,"  he  proceeded,  "we 

are  fully  sensible  that  in  offering  a  work  of  this 
nature  to  the  public  the  main  reliance  for  suc- 
cess must  be  the  support  we  receive  from  the 
favours  of  correspondents.  This  island  doubt- 
less contains  an  abundance  of  latent  talent.  Be 
it  our  humble  office  to  bring  these  treasures  to 
light,  and  thus  offer  to  the  man  of  business  an 
elegant  relaxation  and  to  the  idler  a  recreation. 
.  We  beg,  however,  thus  early  to  express 
an  aversion  to  satire  as  being  rarely  free  from 
malice  or  personality,  and  in  no  way  according 
with  the  motto  we  have  assumed."  The  editor, 
true  to  his  professed  mission  of  offering 
"  elegant  relaxation  to  the  man  of  business  and 
to  the  idler  recreation,"  filled  the  columns  of 
the  paper  with  fashionable  gossip,  quaint  stories 
and  sentimental  poetry.  But  he  was  not  well 
served  by  his  contributors.  One  of  them  sent 
him  as  an  original  effusion  a  poem  which  had 
previously  appeared  in  Blackwood's  Magazine. 
The  Singapore  C/iromcle,  which  had  no  reason 
to  love  this  new  venture,  took  good  care  to 
point  out  the  plagiarism,  and  no  doubt  there 
were  some  heart-searchings  in  the  official 
editorial  sanctum  at  Pinang.  The  sands  of  the 
paper's  existence,  however,  were  by  that  time 
running  out.  The  cost  of  the  production  was 
greater  than  had  been  anticipated.  Moreover, 
the  change  in  the  system  of  government  by 
which  the  seltlements  were  brought  under  the 
direct  control  of  the  Supreme  Government  was 
impending,  and  a  new  era  of  freedom  for  the 
press  throughout  the  dominions  of  the  East 
India  Company  was  dawning.  Hence  the 
orders  went  out  for  the  stoppage  of  the 
Government  Gazette,  and  on  July  3,  1830, 
the  last  number  was  issued.  In  a  farewell 
note  the  editor  thus  addressed  his  readers  : 
"Accident  rather  than  choice  led  us  to  assume 
a  character  which  previous  experience  little 
qualified  us  to  discharge  with  ability.  So  cir- 
cumstanced, we  cannot  ask,  like  Augustus,  to  be 
accompanied  on  our  departure  with  applause, 
but  must  rest  satisfied  in  the  hope  that  we  may 
have  afforded  temporary  amusement  to  those 
whose  severer  labours  prevented  them  from 
looking  for  it  elsewhere."  So  the  last  vestige 
of  official  domination  of  the  press  fades  out,  and 
Straits  journalism  commences  that  honourable 
and  distinguished  career  which  has  given  it  a 
worthy  pre-eminence  amongst  the  press  of  the 
Crown  colonies. 


Later  Years. 

When  the  united  settlements  were  brought 
under  the  government  of  Bengal  in  1830, 
Pinang,  which  had  suffered  a  severe  eclipse 
politically  as  well  as  commercially  by  the  rise 
of  Singapore,  receded  still  further  into  the  back- 
ground. Its  population  became  stationary  or 
nearly  so,  the  increase  in  the  number  of 
inhabitants  on  the  island  and  in  Province 
Wellesley  between  the  j-ears  1835  and  1857 
being  only  from  86,009  to  91,098.  On  the 
other  hand  the  settlement  more  than  main- 
tained its  reputation  as  a  costly  appanage  of 
the  East  India  Company.  In  1835-36,  compared 
with  an  expenditure  of  Rs.  253,328  was  a 
i-evenue    of    only    Rs.  178,930.     The    position 

i.  View  from  the  Convalescent  Bungalow. 

1.  Mount  Erskine  and  Pulo  Ticoose  Bay.  3.  Suffolk  House. 

(From  Daniell'.s  "  Views  of  Prince  of  W.iles  Island.") 

4.  View  from  STR.iwBEBRy  Hill. 



became  worse  as  years  went  by,  for  in  1845, 
against  tlie  smaller  revenue  of  Rs.  176,495  had 
to  be  set  the  enormously  increased  expenditure 
of  Rs.  346,659.  In  the  "  Report  on  the  Moral 
and  Material  Progress  of  India  for  1859-60 " 
we  find  this  paragraph  relative  to  Pinang  : 
"  At  this  station,  owing  to  their  poverty,  no 
undertaking  of  importance  has  been  projected 
by  the  Commissioners  during  the  past  year. 
The  funds  at  their  command  barely  s  ifficed  to 
enable  them  to  meet  the  calls  made  upon  them 
for  the  payment  of  the  police  force,  to  execute 
the  ordinary  repairs  to  the  roads  in  Prince  of 
Wales  Island,  with  a  few  slight  repairs  to  those 
in  Province  Wellesley,  to  purchase  some  of  the 
materials  required  for  a  proposed  new  market, 
and  to  make  some  little  progress  towards  com- 
pleting the  works  necessary  for  bringing  into 
the  town  the  much-needed  supply  of  water." 
The  settlement  appeared  to  have  got  into  a 
backwater  from  which  it  did  not  ever  seem 
likely  to  emerge. 

A  circumstance  which  militated  seriously 
against  its  prosperity  was  the  prevalence  of 
piracy  about  the  coast.  Piracy  in  this  part  of 
the  Straits,  even  more  than  elsewhere,  was  the 
staple  industry  of  the  coastal  inhabitants.  The 
native  chiefs  took  an  active  hand  in  it.  Indeed, 
there  was  reason  to  believe  at  the  time  that 
more  than  one  of  them  derived  their  chief 
source  of  revenue  from  the  toll  levied  on 
commerce  by  the  rovers.  The  Government 
routed  these  freebooters  out  from  one  strong- 
hold after  another  in  and  about  the  island,  but 
still  the  nefarious  trade  flourished.  It  derived 
not  a  little  of  its  strength  in  later  years  from 
the  anarchical  state  into  which  the  native 
States  of  Perak  and  Selangor  lapsed  through 
the  weakness  of  the  native  government,  or 
what  passed  for  such.  The  policy  of  non- 
interference in  native  affairs  traditionally  pur- 
sued by  the  British  in  the  Straits  compelled 
the  Pinang  officials  to  look  on  with  arms 
folded  while  these  States,  by  their  disorder, 
were  producing  a  chronic  state  of  lawlessness 
along  the  coast  and  in  the  territory  immediately 
bordering  on  Province  Wellesley.  At  length, 
owing  to  a  particularly  menacing  development 
of  piratical  enterprise  off  the  Larut  river, 
and  outrages  in  Province  Wellesley  and  the 
Dindings  and  even  in  Pinang  itself  by  one  of 
the  piratical  factions,  the  Government  took 
action.  They  sent  a  naval  force  to  the  chief 
centre  of  the  pirates'  enterprise  off  the  coast  of 
Perak,  and  for  months  the  coast  was  patrolled. 
Owing  to  the  shallow  nature  of  the  waters 
hereabouts  the  operations  were  most  difficult 
and  little  progress  was  made.  Sir  Frank 
Swettenham,  who  speaks  from  personal  ex- 
perience, gives  in  "  British  Malaya  "  an  inter- 
esting description  of  these  pirate  hunts  in  the 
early  seventies.  "  It  was,"  he  writes,  "  im- 
possible to  land,  for  the  coast  was  nothing  but 
mangroves  and  mud,  with  here  and  there  a 
fishing  village,  inhabited,  no  doubt,  "by  pirates 
or  their  friends,  but  with  nothing  to  prove 
their  complicity.  These  mangrove  flats  were 
traversed  in  every  direction  by  deep-water 
lagoons,  and  whenever  the  pirates  were  sighted, 

as  not  infrequently  happened,  and  chase 
was  given,  their  faster  boats  pulled  away 
from  their  pursuers  with  the  greatest  ease, 
and  in  a  few  minutes  the  pirates  would  be 
lost  in  a  maze  of  waterways,  with  nothing  to 
indicate  which  turn  they  had  taken.  The 
whole  business  became  somewhat  ludicrous 
when  native  craft  were  pirated  (usually  by 
night)  under  the  eyes  of  the  British  crews,  and 
when  their  boats  got  up  to  the  scene  of  action 
there  was  not  a  trace  to  show  what  had  oc- 
curred or  where  the  pirates  had  gone.  Finally 
the  boats  of  H.M.S.  Midge  were  attacked  in 
the  estuary  of  the  Larut  river,  and  after  a 
longish  engagement  the  pirates  were  beaten 
off,  having  seriously  wounded  two  British 
officers.  The  net  result  of  these  excursions 
was  that  about  50  per  cent,  of  the  crews  of 
the  gun-vessels  were  invalided,  and  not  a 
single  pirate  boat  or  man  had  been  captured." 
Matters  drifted  on  until  1874,  when  a  particu- 
larly impudent  case  of  piracy  at  the  entrance 
of  the  Jugra  river,  a  tidal  creek  connecting 
with  the  Langat  river  at  a  point  where  the 
Sultan  of  Selangor  was  then  living,  led  to  a 
naval  demonstration  in  which  the  then  Governor 
of  the  Straits,  Sir  Andrew  Clarke,  joined.  The 
Sultan  was  duly  impressed  with  the  powerful 
arguments  presented  to  him  in  the  shape  of  a 
very  serviceable  portion  of  the  China  Squadron, 
and  though  one  of  his  own  sons  was  implicated, 
gave  full  authority  for  the  trial  of  the  men 
who  had  been  taken  prisoners  by  the  British 
authorities,  and  on  their  being  subsequently 
condemned  to  death,  sent  a  kris  to  be  used  at 
the  execution.  This  episode  had  a  great  moral 
effect  in  the  Straits,  but  the  decline  and  final  ex- 
tinction of  piracy  is  to  be  traced  more  to  the  de- 
velopment of  the  Federated  Malay  States  under 
British  guidance  than  to  coercive  measures. 

In  another  section  we  shall  have  occasion  to 
describe  this  great  movement  in  some  detail, 
and  it  is  therefore  unnecessary  to  follow  here 
the  course  of  events  in  these  States,  though 
their  influence  on  Pinang  was  at  times  con- 
siderable. It  must  be  noted,  however,  that  the 
rise  of  the  Federation  has  brought  to  Pinang  a 
great  accession  of  prosperity  and  restored  to  it 
something  of  its  old  prestige  as  a  port.  The 
settled  conditions  of  life  and  the  progressive 
system  of  government  which  replaced  the  old 
anarchy  not  only  stimulated  the  coast  trade 
which  centred  at  Pinang,  but  they  had  a  vivify- 
ing influence  on  the  territory  included  within 
the  area  of  the  settlement.  For  a  long 
period  European  capitalists  were  shy  of  in- 
vesting their  money  in  Province  Wellesley  and 
the  Dindings.  The  conditions  under  which  the 
Government  were  prepared  to  grant  land  were 
not  sufficiently  liberal  to  tempt  them.  More- 
over, there  was  little  faith  in  the  future  of 
agricultural  enterprise,  hampered  as  it  then 
was  by  adverse  labour  conditions  and  a 
general  state  of  unrest  which  seemed  to 
afford  a  precarious  tenure  to  any  who  might 
be  bold  enough  to  sink  their  money  in  the 
operations  then  open  to  the  planter.  As 
Perak  and  Selangor  were  brought  more  and 
more    under    a    settled     administration    and 

immense,  far-reaching  changes  were  made  by 
the  opening  up  of  the  country  by  roads,  the 
value  of  the  Pinang  territory  as  a  field  of 
enterprise  was  recognised,  and  the  country 
shared  in  the  wonderful  prosperity  which 
marked  the  progress  of  those  States  in  common 
with  the  whole  federated  area.  The  rise  of 
rubber  helped  on  the  movement,  for  much 
of  the  land  in  Province  Wellesley  and  the 
Dindings  is  suited  to  the  cultivation  of  this 
most  imp6rtant  article  of  commerce,  and  capi- 
talists have  not  been  slow  to  realise  the  fact. 
Lastly,  the  introduction  of  railways  has  been 
an  immense  boon  to  the  Pinang  administra- 
tive area,  and  is  likely  to  have  even  more 
marked  results  as  the  system  in  the  peninsula 
is  more  developed.  Although  it  is  only  since 
1903  that  the  line  through  Province  Wellesley 
has  been  open  to  traffic,  the  effects  on  Pinang 
trade  have  been  remarkable.  The  municipal 
re  venue  of  the  town— a  good  test  of  prosperity- 
has  risen  from  568,695  dollars  in  1903  to  819,531 
dollars  in  1905,  and  it  is  now  almost  double 
what  it  Mfras  in  1900.  The  population  of  the 
island  is  now  more  than  100,000,  and  it  is 
increasing  at  such  a  rate  that,  unless  some  great 
calamity  should  befall  the  settlement,  it  will 
probably  be  double  that  figure  before  another 
quarter  of  a  century  has  elapsed. 

For  a  century  or  more  Pinang  was  largely 
the  grave  of  disappointed  expectations,  but  it 
is  now  justifying  the  faith  reposed  in  its  future 
by  its  founder.  Indeed,  Light  in  his  most 
sanguine  moments  could  not  have  pictured  for 
his  settlement  a  destiny  so  brilliant  as  that 
which  even  now  it  has  achieved.  The  trans- 
formation from  a  colony  slow,  unprogressive, 
and  exceedingly  costly  to  a  thriving  centre  of 
commercial  life  with  a  buoyant  revenue  and  an 
ever-increasing  trade  is  due  largely,  if  not 
entirely,  to  the  remarkable  work  of  administra- 
tive organisation  which  has  been  carried  on  in 
the  Malay  Peninsula  by  a  succession  of  able 
British  officials  in  the  past  thirty  years.  But 
it  ought  never  to  be  forgotten  that  much  of 
that  work  would  have  been  barely  possible  if 
there  had  been  no  Pinang  and  no  Province 
Wellesley  to  provide  as  it  were  a  base  for  the 
diffusion  of  British  influence.  Light,  as  his 
writings  show,  clearly  recognised  in  his  day 
how  important  Pinang  was,  viewed  in  the 
aspect  of  a  centre  from  which  to  dominate  the 
Northern  Malay  States.  His  representations 
were  unheeded  by  shortsighted  bureaucrats  in 
India,  and  only  the  proverbial  British  luck  in 
such  matters  prevented  the  whole  of  the 
remarkably  wealthy  territory  which  is  now 
peacefully  and  happily  under  British  protection 
from  passing  into  foreign  hands.  The  debt 
which  the  Empire  owes  to  Light  is  second 
only  to  that  which  it  readily  acknowledges  as 
the  due  of  Raffles.  In  the  adjudgment  of 
posthumous  honours  by  the  arbiter  elegatiti- 
ariim  of  colonial  history  it  can  scarcely  be 
claimed  that  the  unpretentious  sea  captain 
and  trader  of  Junk  Ceylon  has  had  his  due. 
But  however  ignorant  the  British  public  as 
a  whole  may  be  of  Light's  great  services, 
Pinang  people  are  not  likely  to  forget  them. 





MALACCA,  slumberous,  dreamy,  and 
picturesque,  epitomises  what  there  is 
of  romance  in  the  Straits  Settlements.  Singa- 
pore, by  right  of  seniority,  has  pride  of  place 
in  the  history  of  Malaya.  But,  as  we  have 
seen,  little  or  nothing  remains  of  her'  ancient 
glories  but  traditions,  none  too  authentic. 
Malacca,  on  the  other  hand,  has  still  to  show 
considerable  monuments  of  the  successive 
conquerors  who  have  exercised  sway  within 
her  limits.  On  a  hill  overlooking  the  settle- 
ment are  the  remains  of  an  ancient  Portuguese 
church,  whose  stately  towers,  with  graceful 
finials  outlined  against  the  intense  blue  of  a 
tropical   sky,  tell  of   that   strenuous   period  in 

sway,  and  lorded  it  in  their  peculiar  fashion 
over  the  inhabitants  of  the  ancient  Malay  port. 
In  the  outskirts  of  the  town  are  not  a  few  old- 
world  gardens,  charmingly  suggestive  of  an 
age  in  which  the  steamboat  was  unknown,  and 
life  rippled  on  in  an  even,  if  monotonous,  cur- 
rent. Further  away,  hemming  in  the  houses 
in  a  sea  of  tropical  vegetation,  are  plantations 
and  orchards,  with,  as  a  background,  a  vista 
of  blue-coloured  hills.  It  is  a  scene  typically 
Oriental,  and  carries  with  it  more  than  a 
suggestion  of  that  commercial  stagnation  that 
has  left  Malacca  in  a  state  of  suspended  anima- 
tion, while  its  upstart  neighbour  to  the  south 
has  been  progressing  at  a  feverish  rate.  But 
there  are  not  wanting  evidences  that  Malacca 
is  awakening  from  its  long  sleep.    Agricultural 

last  seems  to  be  dawning.  It  may  not  be  a 
great  day,  but  it  will  be  almost  certainly  one 
which  will  contrast  very  remarkably  with  any 
that  it  has  previously  known  in  its  chequered 

The  ancient  history  of  Malacca,  like  that  of 
Singapore,  is  enveloped  in  a  considerable 
amount  of  doubt.  Practically  the  only  guide  on 
the  subject  is  the  "  Sejara  Malayu,"  or  "  Malay 
Annals,"  the  work  already  referred  to  in  the 
section  dealing  with  Singapore.  This  com- 
pilation is  distrusted  by  most  modern  Malay 
authorities  because  of  its  manifest  inaccuracy 
in  matters  of  detail,  and  it  is  usually  only  cited 
by  them  as  a  legendary  record  which,  amidst  a 
great  mass  of  chaff,  may  contain  a  few  grains 
of  solid  fact.     The  narrative,  as  has  been  noted, 

GATE    OF    THE    OLD    FOBT    AT    MALACCA. 

Straits  history  when  the  priest  and  the  soldier 
went  hand  in  hand  in  the  building  up  of  Lusi- 
tanian  power  in  the  East.  Hard  by  is  the  old 
Dutch  Stadt  House,  solid  and  grim-looking, 
recalling  the  era  when  the  Netherlanders  held 

development  is  touching  with  its  magic  wand 
the  territory  along  the  coast  on  each  side  and  in 
the  Hinterland,  and  slowly  but  surely  is  making 
its  influence  felt  on  the  trade  of  the  port. 
Malacca's  day  as  a  modern  trading  centre  at 

describes  the  final  conquest  of  Singapore  in 
1252,  and  the  withdrawal  of  the  remnants  of 
the  Malay  population  to  Malacca,  to  found 
there  a  new  city.-  The  founder  was  Raja 
Secunder   (or    Iskander     Shah,   the  erstwhile 



chief  of  Singapore.  According  to  the  record, 
this  Prince,  while  out  hunting  one  day,  was 
resting  under  the  shade  of  a  tree  near  the  coast 
when  one  of  his  dogs  roused  a  moose  deer. 
The  animal,  driven  to  bay,  attaclied  the  dog 
and  forced  it  into  the  water.  The  Raja,  de- 
lighted at  the  incident,  said,  "This  is  a  fine 
place,  where  the  very  pelandooks  (moose  deer) 
are  full  of  courage.  Let  us  found  a  city  here." 
And  the  city  was  founded  and  called  Malacca, 
after  the  name  of  the  tree  under  which  the 
Prince  was  resting — the  malacca  tree  [Phyl- 
Janthtis  Emblica).  Perhaps  this  explanation 
of  the  founding  of  Malacca  is  as  authentic  as 
most  stories  of  the  origins  of  ancient  cities.  It, 
at  all  events,  must  serve  in  the  absence  of 
reliable  historical  data.  Raja  Secunder  Shah 
died  in  1274,  and  was  succeeded  by  Raja 
Kechil  Besar.  In  the  reign  of  this  potentate 
the  Malays  are  said  to  have  been  converted  to 
Mahomedanism.  The  next  two  centuries  wit- 
nessed a  great  development  of  the  trade  of  the 
city.  The  place  is  represented  in  1509  as  being 
one  of  the  first  cities  of  the  East,  and  its  ruling 
chiefs  are  reported  to  have  successfully  resisted 
many  attempts  of  the  Siamese  kings  to  subdue 
them.  The  Annals  give  a  picturesque  descrip- 
tion of  Malacca  as  it  existed  at  this  period. 
"  From  Ayer  Leleh,  the  trickling  stream,  to  the 
entrance  of  the  Bay  of  Muar,  was  one  uninter- 
rupted market-place.  From  the  Kling  town 
likewise  to  the  Bay  of  Penagar  the  buildings 
extended  along  the  shore  in  an  uninterrupted 
line.  If  a  person  went  from  Malacca  to  Jagra 
(Parcelar  Hill)  there  was  no  occasion  to  carry 
fire  with  one,  for  wherever  he  stopped  he  would 
find  people's  houses."  Another  vivid  descrip- 
tion of  Malacca  at  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth 
century  is  to  be  found  in  an  ancient  manuscript, 
which  is  atti-ibuted  by  the  Hon.  E.  J.  Stanley, 
its  translator,  to  Magellan.  "This  city  of 
Malacca,"  says  the  writer,  "  is  the  richest  trad- 
ing port,  and  possesses  the  most  valuable 
merchandise  and  most  numerous  shipping  and 
extensive  traffic  that  is  known  in  all  the  world. 
And  it  has  got  such  a  quantity  of  gold  that  the 
great  merchants  do  not  estimate  their  property 
nor  reckon  otherwise  than  by  bahars  of  gold, 
which  are  four  quintals  each  bahar.  There  are 
merchants  among  them  who  will  take  up  singly 
three  or  four  ships  laden  with  very  valuable 
goods,  and  will  supply  them  with  cargo  from 
their  own  property.  They  are  very  well  made 
men,  and  likewise  the  women.  They  are  of  a 
brown  colour,  and  go  bare  from  the  waist  up- 
wards, and  from  that  downwards  cover  them- 
selves with  silk  and  cotton  cloths,  and  they  wear 
short  jackets  half  way  down  the  thigh  of  scarlet 
cloth,  and  silk,  cotton,  or  brocade  stuffs,  and 
they  are  girt  with  belts  and  carry  daggers  in 
their  waists,  wrought  with  rich  inlaid  work : 
these  they  call  querix  (kris).  And  the  women 
dress  in  wraps  of  silk  stuffs,  and  short  skirts 
much  adorned  with  gold  and  jewellery,  and 
have  long,  beautiful  hair.  These  people  have 
many  mosques,  and  when  they  die  they  bury 
their  bodies.  They  live  in  large  houses,  and 
have  gardens  and  orchards,  and  pools  of  water 
outside  the  city  for  their  recreation.  They  have 
got  many  slaves,  who  are  married,  with  wives 
and  children.  These  slaves  live  separately,  and 
serve  them  when  they  have  need  of  them. 
These   Moors,   who    are   named    Malays,    are 

very  polished  people  and  gentlemen,  musical, 
gallant,  and  well-proportioned." 

In  the  section  of  this  work  dealing  with  the 
Federated  Malay  States  the  story  of  Portuguese 
and  Dutch  ascendancy  in  the  Straits  is  fully 
related.  It  is,  therefore,  only  necessary  here 
to  touch  lightly  upon  this  period  in  Malacca 
history.  The  town  was  captured  by  Albu- 
querque in  1511.  For  one  hundred  and 
thirty  years  it  remained  in  the  occupation  of 
the  Portuguese.  Under  their  government  the 
place  became  an  important  centre  for  the 
propagation  of  the  Roman  Catholic  faith. 
The  great  Church  of  Our  Lady  of  the  Annun- 
ciation, whose  splendid  ruins  still  dominate  the 
settlement,  was  built,  and  within  its  walls 
officiated  during  an  eventful  period  of  his  life 
St.  Francis  Xavier,  '•  the  Apostle  of  the  East." 
The  proselytising  zeal  of  the  Portuguese  went 
hand  in  hand  with  commercial  enteiprise. 
They  built  up  a  considerable  trade  in  spices 
and  other  Eastern  products,  revitalising  in 
new  channels  a  commerce  which  went  back 
to  Roman  times,  if  not  beyond.  Malacca,  as 
the  chief  port  in  these  waters,  was  the  centre 
to  which  the  merchandise  was  brought  for 
shipment.  Vessels  richly  freighted  sailed  from 
its  wharves  with  fair  regularity  on  the  perilous 
voyage  round  the  Cape,  carrying  with  their 
enormously  valuable  cargoes  to  Europe  an 
impression  of  the  greatness  of  the  Portuguese 
settlement  in  the  Straits  of  Malacca  which, 
perhaps,  was  scarcely  justified  by  the  actual 
facts.  That  Malacca  in  the  palmy  days  of  the 
Portuguese  occupation  was  a  highly  flourishing 
city  is,  however,  beyond  doubt.  A  graphic 
picture  of  it  as  it  existed  in  the  early  years  of 
the  seventeenth  century  is  given  by  Manuel 
Godinho  de  Eredia  in  a  manuscript  written  at 
Goa  in  1613  and  discovered  in  quite  modern 
times  in  the  Royal  Library  at  Brussels.  Within 
the  fortifications,  which  were  of  great  extent, 
were  the  castle  and  palace  of  the  Governor, 
the  palace  of  the  bishop,  the  hall  of  the 
Council  of  State,  and  five  churches.  The  walls 
of  the  fortress  were  pierced  by  four  gates 
leading  to  three  separate  quarters  of  the  town, 
the  principal  of  which  was  known  as  Tran- 
quiera.  Living  in  the  fortress  were  three 
hundred  married  Portuguese  with  their  families. 
Altogether  the  population  of  the  settlement 
included  7,400  Christians,  and  there  were  4 
religious  houses,  14  churches,  2  hospitals,  with 
chapels  and  several  hermitages  and  oratories. 
Eredia  writes  with  enthus.asm  of  the  climate  of 
Malacca.  "  This  land,'  he  says,  "  is  the  freshest 
and  most  agreeable  in  the  world.  Its  air  is 
healthy  and  vivifying,  good  for  human  life 
and  health,  at  once  warm  and  moist.  But 
neither  the  heat  nor  the  moisture  is  excessive, 
for  the  heat  is  tempered  by  the  moist  vapours 
arising  from  the  waters,  at  the  same  time  that 
it  counteracts  the  dampness  of  the  excessive 
rains  of  all  seasons,  especially  during  the 
changes  of  the  moon." 

In  the  seventeenth  century  the  Dutch  and 
English  appeared  in  the  Straits  to  contest  the 
practical  monopoly  of  trade  which  the  Portu- 
guese had  long  enjoyed  in  these  latitudes. 
The  English  were  content  to  leave  the  Portu- 
guese to  the  possession  of  the  territory  they 
had  long  held.  The  Dutch,  more  ambitious, 
and  more  conscious   of   their  strength,  deter- 

mined to  put  an  end  to  Portuguese  rivalry 
by  the  summary  process  of  eviction.  In  1642 
they  sent  an  expedition  against  Malacca,  and 
without  much  difficulty  occupied  the  place- 
They  took  with  them  to  their  new  possession 
their  characteristic  trade  exclusiveness,  and 
also  their  stern  methods  of  dealing  with  the 
natives.  The  policy  had  its  natural  fruits  in 
a  waning  commerce  and  a  diminishing  popu- 
lation. Before  the  end  of  the  seventeenth 
century  Malacca  had  sunk  into  a  position  of 
comparative  unimportance  as  a  port.  But  its 
possession  brought  to  the  Dutch  a  certain 
degree  of  prestige  and  indirect  advantages  in 
the  facilities  it  afforded  for  extending  Dutch 
influence  in  the  native  States.  Had  the  Nether- 
landish officials  grasped  the  essential  features 
of  a  policy  of  expansion — or,  to  give  it  its  most 
modern  designation,  peaceful  penetration — 
they  might  have  anticipated  to  a  considerable 
extent  that  great  work  which  is  now  being 
done  under  British  auspices  in  the  Malay 
States.  Their  political  outlook,  however, 
was  as  characteristically  narrow  as  was  their 
economic  policy,  and  though  they  entered 
into  relations  with  some  of  the  native  chiefs, 
their  diplomacy  was  directed  rather  to  the 
exclusion  of  rivals  than  to  practical  ends.  So 
though  the  Dutch  power  was  seated  for  up- 
wards of  a  century  and  a  half  at  Malacca,  its 
active  influence  at  the  end  of  the  period 
extended  little  beyond  the  confines  of  the 
settlement,  save  in  two  or  three  instances 
where  interests  were  created  for  ulterior 

Valentyn,  the  well-known  Dutch  missionary 
whose  great  work  on  the  East  Indies,  published 
at  Dordrecht  and  Amsterdam  in  the  year  1726, 
is  one  of  the  classics  of  Indian  historical  litera- 
ture, gives  a  minute  account  of  Malacca  as  it 
was  in  the  middle  period  of  the  Dutch  occupa- 
tion. The  region  in  which  the  town  is  situated, 
he  states,  was  called  by  Ptolemy  and  the  ancients 
Terra  or  Regio  Aurifera,  or  the  gold-bearing 
country,  and  Aurea  Chersonesus,  or  the  Golden 
Peninsula,  the  latter  name  being  conferred  on 
account  of  its  being  joined  to  the  countries  of 
Tana-sery  (Tenasserim)  and  Siam  by  a  narrow 
neck  of  land. 

"The  town  is  1,800  paces  or  about  a  mile  in 
circumference,  and  the  sea  face  is  defended  by 
a  high  wall,  600  paces  in  length.  There  is  also 
a  fine  stone  wall  along  the  banks  of  the  river  to 
the  north-west,  and  to  the  north-east  is  a  stone 
bulwark,  called  St.  Domingo.  A  wall  called 
Taypa  runs  along  the  water-side  to  the  port 
St.  Jago,  and  there  are  several  small  fortresses 
with  two  more  bulwarks  on  the  south-east  side, 
which  contribute  much  to  the  strength  of  the 
place.  ...  In  the  upper  part  of  the  town  lies 
the  Monastery  of  St.  Paulo  ;  and  those  of  the 
Miniiebroeders  (foster  brothers)  and  of  Madre 
de  Dios  are  erected  on  neighbouring  hills,  be- 
yond which  the  land  is  everywhere  low  as 
on  the  sea  coast,  where  the  slope  is  so  gradual 
that  the  mud  bank  which  fronts  the  shore  is 
dry  at  low  water  to  the  distance  of  two  musket 
shots,  and  so  soft  and  muddy  that  great  diffi- 
culty is  experienced  in  landing.  .  .  There  are 
several  handsome  and  spacious  streets  in  the 
town,  but  unpaved  ;  and  many  fine  stone 
houses,  the  greater  part  of  which  are  built  after 
the  Portuguese  fashion,  very  high.     They  are 



arranged  in  the  form  of  a  crescent.  There  is 
a  respectable  fortress  of  great  strength^  with 
good  walls  and  bulwarks,  and  well  provided 
with  cannon,  which,  with  a  good  garrison, 
would   stand   a   hard   push.     Within   the   fort 

population  of  two  or  three  hundred  mentioned 
as  inhabiting  the  fort  was  doubtless  the  Euro- 
pean and  Eurasian  community.  Outside  the 
walls  there  was  probably  a  much  larger  body 
of  native  inhabitants.     Still,  the  settlement  had 

officer  of  the  British  troops  was  to  command 
the  fort  ;  and  in  consequence  of  the  expenses 
incurred  by  the  King  of  Great  Britain  in  equip- 
ping the  armament,  the  British  garrison  was  to 
be  maintained  at  the  expense  of  the  Dutch,  who 

(Fro.n  an  old  print.) 

there  are  many  strong  stone  houses  and  regular 
streets,  all  bearing  tokens  of  the  old  Portuguese 
times  ;  and  the  tower  which  stands  on  the  hill 
has  still  a  respectable  appearance,  although  it 
is  in  a  great  state  of  dilapidation.  This  fortress, 
which  occupies  the  hill  in  the  centre  of  the 
town,  is  about  the  size  of  Delfshaven,  and  has 
also  two  gates,  with  part  of  the  town  on  a  hill, 
and  the  outer  side  washed  by  the  sea.  It  is  at 
present  the  residence  of  the  Governor,  the  public 
establishment,  and  of  the  garrison,  which  is 
tolerably  strong.  Two  hundred  years  ago  it 
was  a  mere  iishing  village,  and  now  it  is  a 
handsome  city.  In  former  times  the  fort  con- 
tained eleven  or  twelve  thousand  inhabitants, 
but  now  there  are  not  more  than  two  or  three 
hundred,  partly  Dutch  and  partly  Portuguese 
and  Malays,  but  the  latter  reside  in  mere  attap 
huts  in  the  remote  corners  of  the  fort.  Beyond 
it  there  are  also  many  handsome  houses  and 
tidy  plantations  of  coconut  and  other  trees, 
which  are  occupied  chiefly  by  Malays." 

This  account  of  Valentyn's  makes  it  clear  that 
under  the  Dutch  domination  Malacca  sank  into 
a  position  of  comparative  insignificance.     The 

obviously  retrograded  considerably — was,  in 
fact,  only  a  shadow  of  what  it  once  was.  With 
unimportant  variations  it  continued  in  this  con- 
dition of  comparative  insignificance  until  the 
usurpation  of  Dutch  power  by  Napoleon,  at  the 
end  of  the  eighteenth  century,  brought  Great 
Britain  and  Holland  into  a  position  of  mutual 
hostility,  and  indirectly  led  to  the  British  occu- 
pation of  several  of  the  Dutch  colonies,  Malacca 
amongst  them.  The  conquest  of  the  straits 
port  was  easily  accomplished.  A  small  British 
squadron,  under  the  command  of  Captain  Xew- 
come  of  the  Orpheus,  appeared  off  the  place  in 
November,  1795.  As  it  entered  the  port  "  a 
Dutch  ship  which  had  run  aground  fired  at  the 
Resistance,  of  forty-four  guns,  C.iptain  Edward 
Pakenham.  This  was  returned  and  the  ship 
struck  her  colours.  The  fort  also  fired  a  few- 
shots  on  the  troops  on  their  landing,  and  sur- 
rendered on  the  opening  of  our  fire  :  for  which 
acts  of  hostility  the  settlement,  as  well  as  the 
ships  in  the  harbour,  were  taken  possession  of 
as  the  property  of  the  captors,  subject  to  the 
decision  of  his  Britannic  Majesty.  In  the  capi- 
tulation  it  was  agreed  that  the  commanding 

were  to  raise  a  sum  in  the  settlement  for  that 
purpose.  The  British  commandant  was  also 
to  have  the  keys  of  the  garrison  and  give  the 
parole  ;  all  military  stores  of  whatever  descrip- 
tion were  to  be  placed  under  his  control  ;  the 
armed  vessels  belonging  to  the  Government  of 
Malacca  to  be  put  likewise  under  the  orders 
of  the  British  Government.  The  settlements 
of  Rhio  and  Perak,  being  dependencies  of 
Malacca,  were  ordered  to  put  themselves  under 
the  protection  of  the  British  Government."  ■ 
The  town  was  not  at  the  outset  actually  incor- 
porated in  British  territory,  but  was  occupied 
for  the  Prince  of  Orange,  who  had  been  driven 
from  his  throne  by  the  revolutionaries.  The 
fact  is  made  clear  by  the  following  general 
order  issued  by  the  commandant  of  the  British 
troops  on  November  17,  1795:  "The  Dutch 
troops  having  taken  the  oath  of  allegiance 
to  his  Britannic  Majesty,  George  III.,  now 
in  strict  alliance  with  his  Serene  Highness, 
William  the  Fifth,  Prince  of  Orange,  the  same 
respect  and  deference  is  to  be  paid  to  the  Dutch 
officers  and  men  when  on  or  off  duty  as  is  paid 
■  Breuton's  "  X;ival  History,"  i.  360. 



to  the  British  officers  and  men,  by  whom  they 
are  to  be  con'sidered  and  treated  on  all  occasions 
as  brother  soldiers  in  one  and  the  same  allied 

Malacca  was  to  have  been  restored  to  the 
Dutch  in  1802  as  a  result  of  the  conclusion  of 
the  Peace  of  Amiens  ;  but  war  breaking  out 
again  in  May,  1S03,  before  the  transfer  was 
made,  and  the  Dutch  falling  once  more  under 
the  domination  of  France,  the  status  of  the 
settlement  was  not  changed.  The  British, 
however,  were  not  at  all  enamoured  of  their 
trust.  The  place  imposed  a  heavy  drain  upon 
the  Company's  resources  without  bringing  any 
corresponding  advantage.  If  the  territory  had 
been  absolutely  British  the  responsibility  might 
have  been  faced,  but  it  did  not  appear  to  the 
authorities  of  that  day  to  be  worth  while  to 
continue  the  expenditure  on  the  port  with  the 
possibility  of  its  being  reoccupied  by  the  Dutch 
on  the  conclusion  of  a  general  peace.  In 
the  circumstances  Lieut. -Colonel  Farquhar  (not 
to  be  confused  with  Major  Farquhar,  of  Singa- 
pore fame),  the  Governor  of  Prince  of  Wales 
Island,  recommended  that  the  Europeans  and 
the  whole  of  the  establishment  should  be  with- 
drawn and  the  place  delivered  over  to  the 
neighbouring  native  force.  The  policy  was 
fully  approved  and  ordered  to  be  carried  into 
effect  by  the  authorities  in  Europe.  Strong 
protests  were  made  against  the  measure  by  the 
inhabitants  and  by  the  Resident.  But  the  work 
of  demolishingthefortifications  was  put  in  hand 
immediately  in  accordance  with  the  instruc- 
tions. The  Portuguese  had  built  well,  and  it 
took  the  Company's  workmen  two  years,  and 
cost  the  Company  ;f4,ooo,  to  undo  the  work 
which  they  had  created.  When  the  act  of 
vandalism  had  been  completed,  an  order  was 
received  from  the  Supreme  Government 
directing  the  suspension  of  all  further  pro- 
ceedings in  connection  with  the  evacuation. 
This  striking  change  in  policy  had  been 
brought  about  by  a  comm.unication  which 
Raffles  had  made  to  the  superior  authority  as 
the  result  of  a  visit  he  paid  to  Malacca  in 
September,  1808.  Raffles  had  been  profoundly 
impressed  by  what  he  had  seen  and  heard 
during  his  sojourn  in  the  settlement,  and  he  had 
immediately  set  to  work  to  put  on  paper  a 
statement  showing  the  grave  blunder  that  was 
on  the  point  of  being  committed.  This  mono- 
graph is  one  of  the  most  masterly  of  his 
numerous  public  communications.  He  com- 
menced by  stating  that  having  lately  had  an 
opportunity  of  noticing  the  destruction  of  the 
works  at  Malacca,  and  being  impressed  with  a 
conviction  that  the  future  prosperity  of  Prince 
of  Wales  Island  was  materially  involved  in  the 
impending  fate  of  the  place,  he  had  felt  it  a 
duty  incumbent  upon  him  to  to  the 
Board  the  result  of  his  observations.  He  pro- 
ceeded . 

"  The  object  of  the  measures  taken  with 
regard  to  Malacca  appears  to  have  been  two- 
fold— to  discourage,  by  the  destruction  of  the 
works,  any  European  Power  from  setting  a 
value  on  the  place  or  turning  it  to  any  account 
in  the  event  of  it  falling  into  their  hands,  and 
to  have  improved  the  settlement  at  Prince  of 
Wales  Island  by  tlie  transfer  of  its  population 
and  trade.  These  objects  were  undoubtedly 
highly  desirable   and  of  great  political  impor- 

tance. The  former,  perhaps,  may  in  some 
degree  have  been  effected  by  the  destruction  of 
the  works  and  removal  of  the  ordnance  and 
stores  to  Pinang,  but  with  respect  to  the  latter 
much  remains  to  be  done.  . 

"The  inhabitants  resident  within  the  territory 
of  Malacca  are  estimated  at  20,000  souls. 
More  than  three-fourths  of  the  above  population 
were  born  in  Malacca,  where  their  families 
have  settled  for  centuries.  .  .  The  Malays,  a 
class  of  people  not  generally  valued  as  subjects, 
are  here  industrious  and  valuable  members  of 
society.  . 

•'The  inhabitants  of  Malacca  are  very  dif- 
ferent from  what  they  appear  to  have  been 
considered.  Three-fourths  of  the  native  popu- 
lation of  Prince  of  Wales  Island  might  with 
little  encouragement  be  induced  to  remove, 
having  no  fixed  or  permanent  property  ; 
adventurers  ready  to  turn  their  hands  to  any 
employment.  But  the  case  is  very  different 
with  the  native  inhabitants  of  Malacca.  . 
The  inhabitants  are  mostly  proprietors  of 
property  or  connected  with  those  that  are  ; 
and  those  possessing  independence  from  their 
gardens,  fishing,  and  the  small  trade  of 
Malacca.  The  more  respectable,  and  the 
majority,  accustomed  to  respect  an  indepen- 
dence from  their  childhood,  will  ill  brook  the 
difficulties  of  establishing  themselves  at  a  new 
settlement.  .  .  The  present  population  must, 
therefore,  be  considered  as  attached  to  the  soil, 
and  from  every  appearance  it  seems  they  have 
determined  to  remain  by  Malacca,  let  its  fate  be 
what  it  will.  Into  whatever  hands  it  falls  it 
cannot  be  much  more  reduced  than  at  present, 
and  they  have  a  hope  that  any  change  must  be 
for  the  better.  The  offer  made  by  Government 
of  paying  the  passage  of  such  as  would  embark 
for  Pinang  was  not  accepted  by  a  single 
individual.  .  .  . 

"  The  population  of  Malacca  is,  in  a  great 
degree,  independent ;  and  when  it  is  considered 
that  no  corresponding  benefit  can  be  offered  to 
them  at  Pinang,  it  cannot  be  expected  that  they 
will  remove  ;  admitting  even  that  they  are 
indemnified  for  the  loss  of  their  fixed  property, 
they  would  feel  but  little  inclination  to  adven- 
ture at  Pinang,  where  theymust  either  purchase 
land  and  houses  from  others  or  undertake  the 
clearing  of  an  unhealthy  jungle. 

"The  natives  consider  the  British  faith 
pledged  for  their  protection.  When  the  settle- 
ment fell  into  the  hands  of  the  English  they 
were  invited  to  remain  ;  protection  and  even 
encouragement  were  offered  them.  The  latter 
has  long  ago  ceased  ;  and  they  are  in  daily 
expectation  of  losing  the  former.  For  our 
protection  they  are  willing  to  make  great 
sacrifices  ;  and  they  pay  the  heavy  duties  im- 
posed on  them  with  the  cheerfulness  of  faithful 
and  obedient  subjects.  The  revenues  of  Malacca 
are  never  in  arrear." 

The  eyes  of  the  Court  of  Directors  were 
opened  by  Raffles's  communication,  and  while 
issuing  orders  for  the  cancellation  of  the 
evacuation  measures,  they  thanked  him  for  his 
able  report.  Thus  Raffles's  name  is  identified 
as  honourably  with  Malacca  as  it  is  with 
Singapore.  While  he  may  be  regarded  as  the 
creator  of  the  latter  settlement,  he  deserves  with 
equal  justice  to  be  looked  upon  as  the  saviour 
of  the  former  at  a  turning-point  in  its  history. 

In  1811,  during  the  period  of  the  second 
British  occupation  of  Malacca,  the  settlement 
was  used  as  a  base  for  the  expedition  to  Java 
to  which  allusion  has  already  been  made. 
Lord  Minto  conducted  the  expeditionary  force 
in  person,  and  it  was  at  Malacca  that  he  had 
the  series  of  conferences  with  Raffles  which 
terminated  in  the  adoption  by  the  Governor- 
General,  in  defiance  of  the  opinions  of  other 
authorities,  of  the  route  recommended  by  the 
administrator  for  the  passage  of  the  flotilla. 
Those  were  lively  days  for  Malacca,  and  how 
greatly  the  natives  enjoyed  the  experience  is  to 
be  gathered  from  the  pages  of  the  Hikaiat 
Abdullah.  The  faithful  Abdullah,  with  the 
minuteness  almost  of  a  Pepys,  sets  down  in  his 
journal  all  the  incidents  of  the  period.  His 
description  of  Lord  Minto's  arrival  and  of  his 
landing  does  infinite  credit  alike  to  his  observa- 
tion and  his  descriptive  powers.  "  When  I 
saw  Lord  Minto  and  how  he  bore  himself,"  he 
writes,  "I  was  amazed.  For  I  had  imagined  to 
myself  what  he  would  be  like,  his  height,  his 
appearance,  his  dress.  Then  I  thought  of  the 
Malay  proverb  which  says,  '  Fair  fame  is  better 
than  a  fine  appearance,'  and  I  bit  my  finger. 
To  me  he  appeared  to  be  a  man  of  middle  age 
with  a  spare  figure,  charming  manners,  and  a 
pleasant  countenance.  I  said  to  myself  that  I 
did  not  think  he  could  lift  as  much  as  30  lbs. 
He  wore  a  dark  coat  and  dark  trousers,  and 
beyond  that  there  was  nothing  to  remark  in  his 
dress.  And  all  the  great  men  who  were  there 
to  welcome  him  stood  a  long  way  off ;  and  not 
one  of  them  dared  to  offer  his  hand  ;  they  only 
raised  their  hats  and  perspired.  Then  the 
commander  of  the  soldiers  shouted  an  order, 
and  every  musket  was  brought  to  the  salute. 
And  as  he  [Lord  Minto]  came  forward  he 
looked  to  left  and  right,  and  bowed  to  either 
hand,  and  then  walked  slowly  through  the 
guard  of  honour,  while  the  guns  kept  thunder- 
ing the  salute,  and  he  never  ceased  raising  his 
hand  in  courteous  acknowledgment  of  saluta- 
tions. I  could  not  see  in  him  the  slightest 
trace  of  self-hauteur  or  self-importance ;  he 
simply  bowed  without  affectation  and  regarded 
everyone  pleasantly.  And  as  he  came  to  a 
great  crowd  of  people  they  saluted  him  ;  and 
he  stopped  for  a  moment  and  raised  his  hand, 
to  acknowledge  the  welcome  of  all  these  poor 
folk— Chinese,  Malays,  Tamils,  and  Eurasians— 
and  he  smiled  as  he  returned  their  greeting. 
How  the  hearts  of  all  God's  servants  expanded 
with  joy  atid  how  the  people  prayed  for 
blessings  on  Lord  Minto  when  they  saw  how 
he  bore  himself,  and  how  well  he  knew  the  way 
to  win  affection  !  .  .  After  waiting  a  moment 
to  return  the  salutations  he  walked  on  slowly, 
bowing  to  the  people,  until  he  reached  the 
Stadt  House  and  entered  it.  Then  all  the  great 
people  of  Malacca,  and  all  the  great  amongst 
those  recently  arrived,  went  to  meet  him  ;  and 
I  noticed  that  amongst  all  those  distinguished 
people  it  was  Mr.  Raffles  who  was  bold  enough 
to  approach  him  ;  the  others  sat  a  long  way 
off.  A  few  moments  later  everyone  who  had 
entered  and  met  the  Governor-General  with- 
drew, and  returned  to  their  own  quarters. 
Then  the  troops  fired  three  volleys  in  succession 
and  they  also  returned  to  their  camp."  There 
is  a  naivete  about  Abdullah's  description  which 
gives  it  a  peculiar  charm  ;  and  it  has  its  value 



as  a  piece  of  self-revelation  on  the  part  of  a 
Malay  in  the  days  when  Western  ideas  had  not 
penetrated  very  deeply  in  Malaya.  A  further 
memento  of  Lord  Minto's  visit  is  a  portrait  of 
the  Governor-General  which  hangs  in  the 
Stadt  House  at  Mal.icca.  The  figure  of  the 
Governor-General  is  painted  against  a  back- 
ground representing  Malacca,  and  there  is 
little  doubt  that  the  work  was  executed  shortly 
after  the  period  of  the  Java  Expedition. 

Malacca  remained  in  the  somewhat  anoma- 
lous position  of  a  British  settlement  governed 
by    Dutch     law,    administered    by    a     Dutch 
judiciary,  until  the  final  overthrow  of  Napoleon 
paved  the  way  for  a  general  adjustment  of  the 
international    position.     The    events    of    that 
memorable    period    followed    each    other    so 
rapidly  that  the  first  intelligence  received  by 
the   Pinang   Government  of   the  close  of  the 
war  was  the  announcejuent  of  the  conclusion 
of    the   Treaty   of    Vienna,    which    iiih'r  alia 
provided  for  the  retrocession  of  Malacca.    A 
feeling  akin  to  consternation  was  aroused  at 
the  action  of  the  home  authorities  in  acquiescing 
in  the  rendition  of  the  settlement,  the  value  of 
which   had   become  more   and   more   evident 
with  the  revival  of  Dutch  influence  and  pre- 
tensions in  the  Straits.     Earnest  remonstrances 
were  immediately  transm.itted  to  the  authorities 
in  Europe  by  the  Pinang  Government  against 
the  measure.     Major  Farquhar,  the  Resident, 
also   addressed   to    the    Court   of   Directors   a 
strong   plea    for    the    reconsideration    of    the 
question.      This   official's   representation   took 
the  form  of   a  lengthy    paper,  in   which   the 
position  and  resources   of    Malacca  were   de- 
scribed with  a  knowledge  born  of  long  residence 
in  the  settlement  and  a  thorough  acquaintance 
with  the  country  about  it.     It  is  probable  that 
the  production  was  inspired  by  Raffles's  earlier 
effort  in  the   same   line,  which,  as   we   have 
noted,  had  such  striking  results.    However  that 
may  be,  the  document  is  of  exceptional  interest 
from   the   light   it  throws   on  the   position   of 
Malacca    at    that    period,    and    the    prescient 
wisdom    displayed    in    regard    to    its    future 
prospects  in  relation  to  the  Malay  States.     As 
the  compilation  has  been  overlooked  to  a  large 
extent    by  writers  on  Malaya,  the  more  im- 
portant portions  of   it   may  profitably    be   re- 
produced here. 

Major  Farquhar,  at  the  outset  of  his  com- 
munication, remarked  that,  having  regard  to  the 
situation  of  Malacca,  commanding  as  it  did  the 
only  direct  passage  to  China,  they  could  not 
but  be  very  forcibly  impressed  with  the 
importance  of  the  place  alike  from  a  political 
and  commercial  point  of  view,  as  well  as  with 
the  many  evils  which  would  inevitably  arise 
should  it  again  fall  into  the  hands  of  a  foreign 
Power.  He  proceeded  to  point  out  that  when 
Malacca  was  before  in  the  hands  of  the  Dutch 
they  were  able  to  seriously  harass  and  hamper 
the  British  trade  which  centred  at  Pinang  by 
bringing  into  Malacca  every  trading  prahu 
passing  up  or  down  the  straits. 

"  A  doubt  therefore  cannot  exist,"  he  wrote, 
"  that  should  the  settlement  of  Malacca  be 
restored  to  the  Dutch,  their  former  influence 
will  be  speedily  re-estabhshed,  and  probably 
on  a  more  extended  basis  than  ever ;  so  as  to 
cause  the  total  ruin  of  that  advantageous  and 
lucrative  commerce  which  at  present  is  carried 

on  by  British  subjects  through  these  straits. 
Independent  (sic)  of  the  above  considerations 
Malacca  possesses  many  other  local  advan- 
tages which,  under  a  liberal  system  of  govern- 
ment, might  in  my  opinion  render  it  a  most 
valuable  colony.  Nature  has  been  profusely 
bountiful  to  the  Malay  Peninsula  in  bestowing 
on  it  a  climate  the  most  agreeable  and  salu- 
brious, a  soil  luxuriantly  fertile,  watered  by 
numerous  rivers,  and  the  face  of  the  country 
diversified  with  hills  and  valleys,  mountains 
and  plains,  the  whole  forming  the  most 
beautiful  scenery  that  it  is  possible  for  the 
imagination  to  figure  to  itself  ;  in  contem- 
plating which  we  have  only  to  lament  that  a 
more  enterprising  and  industrious  race  of 
inhabitants  than  the  Malays  should  not  have 
possessed  this  delightful  region,  and  we  cannot 
but  reflect  with  pain  and  regret  on  the  narrow 
and  sordid  policy  of  the  European  Powers  (who 

"  There  is  a  great  quantity  of  the  richest  kinds 
of  soil  in  the  vicinity  of  Malacca  adapted  to 
the  growth  of  everything  common  to  tropical 
climates.  The  sugar-cane  is  equal  to  any  pro- 
duced in  Java,  and  far  exceeds  in  size  that  of  Ben- 
gal. Coffee,  cotton,  chocolate,  indigo,  pepper, 
and  spices  have  all  been  tried  and  found  to  thrive 
remarkably  well  ;  but  as  yet  no  cultivation  to 
any  extent  of  those  articles  has  taken  place, 
principally  owing  to  the  uncertainty  of  the 
English  retaining  permanent  possession  of 
Malacca,  and  to  the  afiprehensions  the  native 
inhabitants  entertain  of  being  obliged  to  desist 
from  every  species  of  agricultural  pursuit 
should  the  settlement  revert  to  the  Dutch.  .  .  . 

"  The  mineral  productions  of  the  Malay 
peninsula  might  likewise  become  a  source  of 
considerable  emolument  if  thoroughly  explored. 
Indeed,  I  have  little  doubt  that  the  gold  and  tin 
mines  in  the  vicinity  of  Malacca,  if  scientifically 


have  had  establishments  here  since  the  fifteenth 
century),  by  which  every  attempt  at  general 
cultivation  and  improvement  was  discouraged  ; 
and  to  such  a  length  did  the  Dutch  carry  their 
restrictions  that  previous  to  the  capture  of 
Malacca  by  the  English  in  1795,  no  grain 
of  any  kind  was  permitted  to  be  raised  within 
the  limits  of  the  Malacca  territory,  thus  ren- 
dering the  whole  population  dependent  on  the 
island  of  Java  for  all  their  supplies.  Under 
such  a  government  it  is  not  surprising  that 
the  country  should  have  continued  in  a  state  of 
primitive  nature  ;  but  no  sooner  were  these 
restrictions  taken  off  by  the  English  and  full 
liberty  given  to  every  species  of  agriculture 
than  industry  began  to  show  itself  very  rapidly, 
notwithstanding  the  natural  indolence  of  the 
Malay  inhabitants,  and  the  Malacca  district 
now  produces  nearly  sufficient  grain  for  the 
consumption  of  the  settlement,  and  v\'ith  proper 
encouragement  would,  I  have  no  doubt,  in  the 
course  of  a  few  years,  yield  a  considerable 
quantity  for  exportation.  . 

worked  and  placed  under  proper  management, 
would  prove  of  very  great  value.  At  present 
they  are  very  partially  worked,  and  with  so 
little  skill  that  no  comparative  advantage  can 
be  derived  from  them.  The  Malays  and 
Chinese  who  are  employed  at  the  mines  con- 
tent themselves  with  digging  open  pits  to  the 
depth  of  from  6  to  10  feet,  seldom  going 
beyond  that,  and  removing  from  place  to  place 
as  the  veins  near  the  surface  become  exhausted. 
The  tin  mines  are  all  within  a  circuit  of 
35  miles  of  Malacca  (with  the  exception  of  those 
of  Perak),  and  produce  at  present  about  4,000 
piculs  of  tin,  which  will  yield  nearly  80,000 
Spanish  dollars.  But  this  quantity,  were  the 
mines  under  proper  management,  might  be 
easily  quadrupled.  Indeed,  I  have  not  the 
least  doubt  that  the  mines  of  Malacca  would 
very  soon  be  brought  to  rival  those  of  Banca." 

Farquhar  went  on  to  suggest  that  it  would  be 
easy  to  make  arrangements  with  the  native 
chiefs  for  the  working  of  the  mines,  and  this 
thought  led  him  to  a  general  dissertation  on  the 



advantages  of  extending  British  influence  in 
the  peninsula.  Witli  shrewd  judgment  he 
remarked  :  "  It  becomes  an  object  of  the  highest 
interest  that  some  means  should  be  adopted  for 
establishing,  under  British  influence,  a  regular 
system  of  government  throughout  the  Malaj' 
Peninsula,  calculated  to  rescue  this  delightful 
region  from  the  tyranny  and  ignorance  which 
at  present  so  completely  shuts  up  every  avenue 
of  improvement." 

The  paper  closed  with  this  glowing  descrip- 
tion of  the  climatic  advantages  of  Malacca  : 

"  Malacca  enjoys  regular  land  and  sea 
breezes,  but  during  the  height  of  the  XE. 
monsoon  the  sea  breezes  are  very  faint,  and 
the  winds  from  the  land  at  this  season  frequently 
blow  with  considerable  force  and  little  varia- 
tion for  several  weeks  together.  They  are  not, 
however,  at  all  of  a  hot  and  parching  nature 
like  those  on  the  continent  of  India,  owing,  no 
doubt,  to  their  passing  over  a  considerable  tract 
of  country  so  thickly  clothed  with  woods  that 
the  earth  never  becomes  heated  to  any  great 
degree.  The  mornings  at  this  season  are  par- 
ticularly agreeable,  the  weather  being  quite 
serene  and  the  air  sharp  and  bracing.  Very 
little  variation  takes  place  in  the  barometer  at 
Malacca.  .  .  The  salubrity  of  the  climate  may 
be  pretty  fairly  judged  of  by  the  number  of 
casualties  that  have  occurred  in  the  garrison  for 
the  last  seven  years,  which  on  a  correct  average 
taken  from  the  medical  registers  of  those  men 
who  have  died  from  disease  contracted  here 
does  not  amount  to  quite  two  in  the  hundred,  a 
smaller  proportion  than  will,  I  fancj',  be  found 
in  almost  any  other  part  of  India." 

Such  was  the  report  which  Farquhar  sent 
home.  It  was  reinforced  by  petitions  from  the 
mercantile  community,  all  representing  in  the 
strongest  and  most  earnest  language  the  grave 
impolicy  of  allowing  the  settlement  to  get  back 
into  Dutch  hands.  The  fiat,  however,  had  gone 
forth  for  the  transfer,  and  however  much  the 
home  authorities  might  have  liked  to  retrace 
their  steps  they  could  not  do  so  without  a  viola- 
tion of  treaty  obligations.  Events  in  Europe 
prevented  the  immediate  fulfilment  of  the  Treaty 
of  Vienna.  It  was  not,  in  fact,  until  Xovember 
2,  1816,  that  the  Government  order  was  issued 
for  the  restoration  of  Malacca.  Even  then  the 
Dutch  did  not  appear  to  be  at  all  anxious  to 
enter  into  possession.  Thej'  were  more  con- 
cerned with  consolidating  their  position  in  other 
parts  of  the  Straits.  Riau  was  occupied,  and 
lodgments  were  effected  at  various  advan- 
tageous positions  on  the  coast  of  Sumatra. 
Malacca,  stripped  of  its  fortifications  and  bereft 
of  the  most  profitable  part  of  its  trade  by  Pinang, 
they  appeared  to  consider  was  of  minor  im- 
portance to  these  positions  which  could  be 
used  with  effect  for  the  execution  of  the  long- 
cherished  design  of  securing  a  monopoly  of  the 
Straits  trade  for  the  Dutch.  That  "  profligate 
speculation,"  to  adopt  Lord  Hastings's  phrase, 
as  we  know,  was  defeated,  thanks  to  Raffles's 
foresight  and  energy*  ;  but  it  can  be  readily 
understood  that  in  the  early  stages  of  the  plot  it 
seemed  good  policy  to  keep  the  British  hanging 
on  as  caretakers  at  Malacca  while  the  Dutch 
forces  were  careering  about  the  Straits  picking 
up  unconsidered  trifles  of  territory  in  good 
strategic  positions. 

It   was    not  until   the  year   1818   was   well 

advanced  that  the  Dutch  found  time  to  turn 
their  attention  to  Malacca.  After  some  pre- 
liminary negotiations  the  settlement  was  handed 
over  to  the  Dutch  Commissioners  on  September 
2 1st  of  that  year.  An  interesting  ceremony 
marked  the  transfer.  At  sunrise  the  British 
colours  were  hoisted,  and  at  seven  o'clock  all 
the  British  troops  in  garrison  marched  to  St. 
Paul's  Hill,  where  they  were  joined  by  the 
Dutch  contingent.  The  British  Resident  (Major 
Farquhar)  and  the  Dutch  Commissioners,  with 
their  respective  staffs,  proceeded  in  procession 
to  the  vicinity  of  the  flag-staff,  and  on  arrival 
were  received  by  the  united  troops  with  pre- 
sented arms.  The  British  proclamation  an- 
nouncing the  retrocession  was  then  read  by  the 
Resident,  and  it  was  subsequently  repeated  in 
the  Malay  and  Chinese  languages.  Afterwards 
the  Master  Attendant  began  slowly  to  lower  the 
Union  flag,  the  battery  meanwhile  firing  a 
royal  salute  and  ^the  troops  presenting  arms. 
Simultaneously  the  Dutch  men-of-war  in  the 
harbour  thundered  out  a  royal  salute.  After- 
wards the  British  troops  took  up  a  new  position 
on  the  left  of  the  Dutch  line  and  the  Dutch  pro- 
clamation was  read  and  explained  by  the  Com- 
missioners. The  Dutch  colours  were  then 
hoisted  full  mast  under  a  royal  salute  from  the 
British  battery  and  from  the  Dutch  squadron. 
The  ceremony  of  transfer  was  completed  by 
the  Dutch  troops  relieving  the  British  garrison 

During  the  progress  of  the  arrangements  for 
the  surrender  of  the  town.  Major  Farquhar 
advanced  a  claim  on  behalf  of  the  British  for 
the  reimbursement  of  the  expenses  incurred 
over  and  above  the  revenue  since  the  capture 
of  the  place  in  1795.  He  did  so  on  the  ground 
"that  the  laws  of  Holland  as  they  existed  under 
his  Serene  Highness  previous  to  the  revolution 
in  1794-95  have  been  the  only  civil  laws  in  force 
in  this  settlement,  and  that  all  the  decrees  of 
the  Courts  of  Justice  have  continued  to  be 
passed  in  the  name  of  their  High  Mightinesses 
the  States  General,  even  subsequent  to  the 
Peace  of  Amiens,  and  further  that  none  of  the 
former  Dutch  civil  or  military  servants  were  re- 
tained but  such  as  professed  a  strict  adherence 
to  the  cause  of  the  Stadtholders."  The  Dutch 
Commissioners  declined  emphatically  to  enter- 
tain the  claim.  They  agreed,  however,  to  ac- 
cept responsibility  for  the  additional  charges 
incurred  from  the  date  of  the  conclusion  of  the 
treaty  to  the  period  when  the  transfer  was 
made,  less  the  costs  of  the  time  covered  by 
Major  Farquhar's  absence  on  mission  duty. 

One  of  the  last  public  appearances  of  Far- 
quhar at  Malacca  was  at  the  laying  of  the 
foundation-stone  of  the  Anglo-Chinese  College 
on  November  11,  1818.  The  retiring  British 
Resident  discharged  the  principal  part  in  this 
ceremony,  but  the  Dutch  Governor,  Thyssen, 
attended  with  many  of  his  leading  colleagues, 
and  so  gave  the  sanction  of  the  new  regime  to 
an  enterprise  which,  though  entirely  British  in 
its  inception,  was  of  a  character  to  appeal  to 
broad  sympathies.  The  founder  of  the  college 
was  the  Rev.  Dr.  Morrison,  a  well-known 
missionary  associated  with  the  London  Mission- 
ary Society.  Dr.  Morrison's  idea  was  to  spread 
a  knowledge  of  Christianity  amongst  the  better 
class  Chinese,  and  at  the  same  time  to  provide 
for    the    reciprocal    study  of    European    and 

Chinese  literature.  He  gave  out  of  his  own 
means  a  sum  of  one  thousand  pounds  towards 
the  cost  of  the  building,  and  in  addition  pro- 
vided an  endowment  of  one  hundred  pounds 
annually  for  the  succeeding  five  years.  At  a 
later  period,  when  the  British  resumed  the 
occupation  of  Malacca,  the  Company  granted  an 
allowance  of  twelve  hundred  Spanish  dollars 
per  annum  until  1830,  when  the  grant  was 
discontinued.  Attached  to  the  college  was  an 
English,  Chinese  and  Malay  Press,  from  which 
in  process  of  time  issued  several  interesting 
books.  On  the  occupation  of  Singapore  an 
effort  was  made  by  Raffles  to  secure  the  trans- 
fer of  the  college  to  that  settlement  and  its 
amalgamation  with  the  Raffles  Institute.  But 
the  proposal  met  with  much  opposition  and 
eventually  had  to  be  reluctantly  abandoned. 

The  second  period  of  Dutch  dominion  thus 
inaugurated  was  brief.  When  the  time  came 
in  1824  to  arrange  a  general  settlement  of 
matters  in  dispute  with  the  Dutch,  the  agree- 
ment was  come  to  for  the  British  to  cede  to 
the  Netherlands  Government  Bencoolen  in 
Sumatra  in  exchange  for  Malacca  and  the  small 
.  Dutch  establishments  on  the  continent  of 
India.  It  has  often  been  thought  that  in  this 
transaction  we  have  exemplification  of  the  truth 
of  Canning's  lines  which  affirm  that — 

"  In  matters  of  commerce,  the  fault  of  the  Dutch 
Is  offering  too  little  and  asking  too  much." 

But  though  if  we  had  remained  in  Sumatra  we 
might  unquestionably  have  developed  a  great 
trade  with  that  island,  it  is  extremely  doubtful 
whether  we  could  ever  have  secured  advan- 
tages equal  to  those  which  have  accrued  from 
the  possession  of  Malacca.  With  Malacca  in 
Dutch  hands  the  spread  of  our  influence 
throughout  the  Malaj'  peninsula  would  have 
been  impossible.  Our  line  of  communications 
would  have  been  broken,  and  a  wedge  would 
have  been  driven  into  our  sphere  of  action,  to 
the  effectual  crippling  of  our  efforts.  As  things 
are,  we  have  an  absolutely  clear  field,  and  what 
that  means  is  being  increasingly  demonstrated 
in  the  marvellous  development  of  the  Malay 
States  under  British  auspices. 

On  the  receipt  by  the  Pinang  Government 
of  a  despatch  from  the  Supreme  Government 
announcing  the  conclusion  of  the  treaty  with 
the  Dutch,  Mr.  W.  S.  Cracroft,  senior  civil 
servant,  was  in  March,  1825,  sent  with  a 
garrison  of  100  men  to  reoccupy  the  fort. 
Formal  possession  was  taken  on  April  gth.  A 
question  was  raised  at  the  time  as  to  whether  the 
"  dependencies  of  Malacca  "  included  Riau.  It 
was  referred  home,  and  finally  answered  in  a 
negative  sense.  As  far  as  Malacca  itself  was 
concerned,  there  was  little  in  the  situation 
which  the  British  found  on  resuming  the  con- 
trol of  the  settlement  to  excite  enthusiasm.  In 
the  first  place,  the  trade  had  been  reduced 
almost  to  vanishing  point  by  the  competition  of 
Singapore,  whose  superior  conveniences  as  a 
port  attracted  to  it  nearly  the  whole  of  the 
commerce  which  formerly  centred  at  Malacca. 
The  disastrous  character  of  the  rivalry  is  strik- 
ingly illustrated  in  the  revenue  returns  of  the 
settlement.  In  1815  the  export  and  import 
duties  and  harbour  fees  amounted  to  50,591 
Spanish  dollars.  In  1821,  two  years  after  the 
establishment  of  Singapore,  the  receipts  fell  to 



23,282  Spanish  dollars,  and  in  1823  there  was  a 
further  fall  to  7,217  Spanish  dollars.    Practically, 
therefore,  Malacca  had   been  wiped  out  as  a 
port  for  external  trade.    This  commercial  de- 
terioration was  not  the  only  difficulty  which 
the  new  administration  had  to  face.     On  the 
reoccupation  it  was  found  that  scarcely  a  foot 
of  land,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  spots  near 
the  town,  belonged  to  the  Government.    The 
proprietary  rights  in  the  soil  had  been  given 
away  in  grants  to  various  individuals  by  the 
Dutch,  with  the  mere  reservation  of  the  right 
to  impose  a  land  tax  on  the  whole.     Mr.  Fuller- 
ton  caused  a  careful  inquiry  to  be  instituted 
into  the  whole  system.     This  took  a  consider- 
able time  and  involved  much  research.    The 
system  in  vogue  was  found  to  be  based  upon 
the  ancient  Malay  custom  which  constituted  the 
sovereign  the  lord  of  the  soil  and  gave  him 
one-tenth  of  the  produce.    Under  this  system 
a  landowner  might  hand  down  the  trees  he 
planted  and  the  house  he  built,  but  he  could 
not  alienate  the  land.     It  followed  that  the 
individuals   called    proprietors,   mostly   Dutch 
colonists  resident  at  Malacca,  were  not  such  in 
reality,  but  merely  persons  to  whom  the  Gov- 
ernment had  granted  out  its  tenth,  and  who 
had  no  other  claim  upon  the  produce,  nor  upon 
the  occupiers,  not  founded  in  abuse.    The  occu- 
piers, in  fact,  were,  under  Government,  the  real 
proprietors  of  the  soil.    Another  point  brought 
out  by  the  investigation  was  that  a  class  called 
Penghulus,  who  occupied  a  dominant  position 
in  the  managenjent  of  Malacca  landed  property, 
were  merely  the  agents  of  Government  or  of 
the  person  called  the  proprietor,  for  collecting 
the  tenth  share  and  performing  certain  duties 
of  the  nature  of  police  attached  by  custom  to 
the  proprietorship.     In  order  to  revive  the  pro- 
prietary rights  of  Government,  Mr.  FuUerton 
elected  to  purchase  the  vested  interests  of  the 
so-called  proprietors  for  a  fixed  annual  pay- 
ment about  equal  to  the  existing  annual  receipts 
from  the  land,  and  to  employ  the  Penghulus  to 
collect  the   rents   on  behalf    of    Government. 
This  arrangement  was  finally  carried  out  with 
the  sanction  of  the  Court  of  Directors  at  a  cost 
to  the  Government  of  Rs.  16,270  annually.     For 
many  years  the  Government  lost  heavily  over 
the    transaction,   the   receipts  falling  a  good 
many  thousands  short  of  the  fixed  annual  dis- 
bursement.    There  can   be  no  question,  how- 
ever, that  the  resumption  of  the  Government 
proprietorship  of  the  soil  was  a  statesmanlilie 
measure   from  which  much   subsequent   good 
was  derived. 

The  alarming  decline  in  the  trade  of  the 
settlement  created  a  feeling  akin  to  despair  in 
the  minds  of  the  inhabitants.  In  1829  a  memo- 
rial was  forwarded  by  them  to  Pinang,  drawing 
attention  to  the  position  of  affairs  and  suggest- 
ing various  measures  for  the  recovery  of  the 
settlement's  lost  prosperity.  In  a  communica- 
tion in  reply  to  the  memorial,  Mr.  FuUerton 
remarked  that  the  memorialists  had  overlooked 
the  principal  reason  for  the  decay  of  Malacca, 
which  was  the  foundation  of  Pinang  at  one  end 
of  the  straits  and  Singapore  at  the  other. 
Henceforth,  he  said,  the  prosperity  of  Malacca 
must  depend  more  upon  agricultural  than  com- 
mercial resources.  Seeing  that  she  was  as  far 
superior  to  the  other  two  settlements  in  the 
former  respect  as  she  was  inferior  to  them  in 

the  latter,  there  was  no  reason  to  doubt,  he 
thought,  that  under  a  wise  government  Malacca 
might  regain  nearly  as  great  a  degree  of  pros- 
perity as  she  formerly  enjoyed.' 

If  the  mercantile  community  had  cause  to 
complain  of  the  hardness  of  the  times,  the  East 
India  Company  had  not  less  reason  to  feel 
anxious  about  the  position  at  Malacca.  The 
settlement  was  a  steady  and  increasing  drain 
upon  the  Company's  resources.  The  following 
figures  illustrate  the  position  as  it  was  a  few 
years  after  the  resumption  of  the  territory  : 








..  48,800 



1832-33  ■ 

..  69,800 




..  60,700 



It  may  be  acknowledged  that  not  a  little  of 
the  excessive  expenditure  was  for  objects  which 
were  not  properly  debitable  to  Malacca — con- 

ordinate  officials  fifty  dollars  per  annum,  pro- 
vided that  thev  would  transfer  their  lands  to 
Government  in  order  that  the  tenth  might  be 
levied  upon  them  in  the  same  way  as  at 
Malacca.  The  proposals  met  with  a  flat  re- 
fusal, and  Mr.  Lewis  had  to  return  to  head- 
quarters. Another  attempt  was  made  in  the 
following  year  to  bring  about  the  desired 
result.  On  that  occasion  Mr.  Church,  the 
Deputy  Resident,  was  despatched  with  instruc- 
tions to  inform  the  Penghulu  that  Naning  was 
an  integral  part  of  Malacca  territory,  and  that 
it  was  intended  by  Government  to  subject  it  to 
the  general  regulations  affecting  the  rest  of  the 
Malacca  territor>-.  He  was  further  instructed 
to  take  a  census  and  to  make  it  known  that  all 
offenders,  except  in  trivial  matters,  would  in 
future  be  sent  down  to  Malacca  for  trial.  As  a 
solatium  for  the  loss  of  their  power,  iSIr.  Church 
was  instructed  to  offer  the  Penghulu  and  the 
other  functionaries  a  pension.    The  pill,  though 


victs,  military,  &c.  Still,  when  every  allowance 
is  made  for  the  influence  of  the  tendency  of  the 
Indian  authorities  to  place  liabilities  in  the 
Straits,  we  are  faced  with  a  position  which 
leaves  us  in  wonder  at  the  patience  of  the  East 
India  Company  in  maintaining  the  settlement. 
They  were  probably  much  in  the  historic  posi- 
tion of  Micawber — waiting  for  something  to 
turn  up.  Something  did  turn  up  eventually,  but 
not  until  long  after  the  Company's  rule  had 
faded  out. 

When  Mr.  FuUerton  had  settled  the  land 
system  of  Malacca  proper,as  has  been  narrated, 
it  occurred  to  him  that  it  would  be  well  also  to 
take  in  hand  the  adjustment  of  the  land  ques- 
tion in  the  neighbouring  territory  of  Naning. 
.■Accordingly,  in  1828  Mr.  Lewis,  the  Assistant 
Resident,  was  despatched  to  Tabu,  the  capital  of 
Naning,  to  interview  the  chief  with  a  view  to 
the  introduction  of  the  system.  He  was  em- 
powered to  offer  the  Penghulu  the  sum  of  six 
hundred  Spanish  dollars,  and  each  of  the  sub- 
'  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  195. 

thus  gilded,  was  not  more  palatable  than  it 
had  proved  before.  Mr.  Church  was  allowed 
to  take  the  census,  but  his  mission  in  other 
respects  was  a  failure.  These  evidences  of  an 
obstinate  disposition  to  disregard  the  Com- 
pany's authority  led  Mr.  FuUerton  to  take 
measures  for  the  despatch  of  an  expedition  to 
bring  the  recalcitrant  chief  to  his  bearings. 
Pending  a  reference  of  the  matter  to  the 
Supreme  Government,  no  forward  movement 
was  made,  but  on  the  forcible  seizure  and  de- 
tention of  a  man  within  the  Malacca  boundar\- 
by  order  of  the  Penghulu,  a  proclamation  wa> 
issued  declaring  that  Abdu  Syed  had  forfeited 
all  claims,  and  was  henceforth  no  longer  Peng- 
hulu of  Naning. 

At  length  the  sanction  of  the  Supreme 
Government  to  the  expedition  was  received, 
and  on  .\ugust  6,  1831,  the  expeditionary 
force  commenced  its  march.  It  consisted 
of  150  rank  and  file  of  the  29th  Madras 
Native  Infantry,  two  6-pounders,  and  a 
small   detaU    of    native    artUlery,    the    whole 



being  under  the  command  of  Captain  Wyllie, 
Madras  Native  Infantry.  On  the  gth  the  de- 
tachment reached  Wullikey,  a  village  about 
17  miles  from  Malacca  and  about  five  from 
Tabu,  the  residence  of  the  Penghulu.  Owing 
to  the  non-receipt  of  supplies  and  the  unex- 
pectedly severe  resistance  offered  by  the 
Malays,  Captain  Wyllie  deemed  it  best  to 
retreat.  The  force  withdrew  to  Sungie-Pattye, 
v/here  it  remained  until  August  24th,  when 
orders  were  received  for  its  return  to  Malacca. 
The  heavy  baggage  was  destroyed  and  the  re- 
treat commenced  the  same  evening.  On  the 
following  morning  the  somewhat  demoralised 
force  reached  Malacca  after  a  little  fighting  and 
the  loss  of  its  two  guns,  which  were  abandoned 
en  route.  This  rather  discreditable  business 
created  a  considerable  sensation  at  the  time  in 
Malacca,  and  there  was  some  apprehension  for 
the  safety  of  the  town,  which,  until  the  arrival 
of  reinforcements  from  Madras,  was  almost 
at  the  mercy  of  the  Malays.  However,  the 
Penghulu  was  not  enterprising.  If  he  had  any 
disposition  to  trouble  it  was  probably  checked 
by  the  fact  that  the  British  authorities  had  con- 
cluded a  treaty  of  alliance  and  friendship  with 
the  Rembau  chiefs,  who  had  assisted  him  in 
his  rebellion.  In  January,  1832,  a  new  ex- 
peditionary force  was  organised  at  Malacca 
from  troops  which  had  arrived  from  Madras  in 
answer  to  the  summons  for  aid.  It  consisted 
of  the  5th  Madras  N.I.,a  company  of  rifles,  two 
companies  of  sappers  and  miners,  and  a  detail 
of  European  and  native  artillery.  The  troops, 
which  were  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Herbert,  commenced  their  march  early 
in  March.  They  encountered  considerable  re- 
sistance near  Alor  Gajeh,  and  were  compelled 
for  a  time  to  act  on  the  defensive.  Reinforce- 
ments, consisting  mainly  of  the  46th  Regiment, 
were  ultimately  received  from  Pinang,  and  on 
May  2ist  offensive  operations  were  resumed 
with  such  success  that  Tabu  fell  on  the  isth 
June.  The  Penghulu  fled,  and  his  property 
and  lands  were  confiscated  to  Government. 
In  1834  he  surrendered  unconditionally  to 
the  Government  at  Malacca,  and  was  per- 
mitted to  reside  in  the  town  and  draw  a 
pension  of  thirty  rupees  from  the  Government 
treasury.  Newbold  described  him  as  "  a  hale, 
stout  man,  apparently  about  fifty  years  of  age, 
of  a  shrewd  and  observant  disposition,  though 
strongly  imbued  with  the  superstitions  of  his 
tribe."  "  His  miraculous  power  in  the  cure  of 
diseases,"  Newbold  added,  "is  still  as  firmly 
believed  as  that  of  certain  kings  of  England 
was  at  no  very  remote  period,  and  his  house  is 
the  daily  resort  of  the  health-seeking  followers 
of  Mahomed,  Fob,  Brahma,  and  Buddha." 

The  operations  from  first  to  last  cost  the 
Company  no  less  than  ten  lakhs  of  rupees.  For 
some  time  after  the  expedition  it  was  deemed 
necessary  to  maintain  a  body  of  Madras  troops 
in  the  territory  ;  but  the  native  population  soon 
settled  down,  and  within  a  few  years  there  was 
no  more  contented  class  in  the  Company's 

Naning  comes  to  us  in  direct  descent  from 
the  Portuguese,  who  took  possession  of  it  shortly 
after  the  capture  of  Malacca  by  Albuquerque 
in  1511.  Previously  it  had  formed  an  integral 
part  of  the  dominions  of  Mahomed  Shah  II., 
Sultan  of  Malacca,   who,  on  the  fall  of  his 

capital,  tied  to  Muar,  thence  to  Pahang,  and 
finally  to  Johore,  where  he  established  a  king- 
dom. Naning  remained  nominally  under  the 
Portuguese  until  1641-42,  when,  with  Malacca, 
it  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Dutch.  Valentyn 
asserts  that  the  treaty  between  the  Dutch  and 
the  Sultan  ol  Johore  was  that  the  town  should 
be  given  up  to  the  Dutch  and  the  land  to  the 
Sultan  of  Johore,  the  Dutch  reserving  only  so 
much  territory  about  the  town  as  was  required. 
This  reservation  was  so  liberally  construed  by 
the  Netherlanders  that  they  ultimately  brought 
under  the  control  an  area  of  nearly  50  miles 
by  30,  including  the  whole  of  Naning  up  to  the 
frontiers  of  Rembau  and  Johore.  This  line 
at  a  later  period  was  extended  beyond  Bukit 
Bruang  and  Ramoan  China  to  the  left  bank  of 
the  Linggi  river,  which  it  now  comprehends. 

One  of  the  questions  which  arose  out  of  the 
reoccupation  of  Malacca  was  the  status  of  the 
slaves  resident  in  the  settlement.  In  British 
dominions  at  this  time,  as  the  poet  Cowper  had 
proudly  proclaimed  a  few  years  before,  slaves 
could  not  breathe — 

"  If  their  lungs 
Receive  our  air,  that  moment  they  are  free  ; 
They  touch  our  country,  and  their  shackles  fall." 

But  poetry  and  law  are  not  always  in  harmony, 
and  they  were  not  so  in  this  case.  At  all 
events,  there  was  sufficient  doubt  as  to  the 
application  of  the  famou^:  Emancipation  statutes 
to  give  the  authorities  a  considerable  amount 
of  trouble.  The  most  divergent  views  were 
expressed  locally  on  the  subject.  The  main 
question  was  whether  slaves  duly  registered  and 
recognised  as  such  under  the  previous  Dutch 
Government  could  be  considered  in  a  state 
of  slavery  on  the  transfer  of  the  settlement  to 
the  British.  The  inhabitants  petitioned  the 
Pinang  authorities  to  accept  the  state  of  bond- 
age on  the  ground  of  the  confusion  and  loss 
which  would  be  caused  by  emancipation.  Mr. 
FuUerton,  the  Governor,  in  reply,  called  atten- 
tion to  the  importance  of  putting  a  stop  to 
slavery  within  a  certain  period.  Thereupon 
the  inhabitants  met  and  passed  a  resolution 
agreeing  that  slavery  should  cease  at  the  ex- 
piration of  the  year  1842.  Meanwhile  the 
matter  had  been  referred  to  Calcutta  for  legal 
consideration,  and  in  due  course  the  opinion  of 
the  law  officers  was  forthcoming.  It  was  held 
that  owing  to  the  peculiar  circumstances  under 
which  Malacca  had  become  a  British  settle- 
ment the  state  of  slavery  must  of  necessity  be 
recognised  wherever  proof  could  be  brought 
forward  of  the  parties  having  been  in  that  state 
under  the  Netherlandish  Government.  Eventu- 
ally the  question  was  settled  on  the  basis  of  the 
compromise  suggested  by  the  resolution  of  the 
inhabitants  at  their  public  meeting.  Thus 
Malacca  enjoyed  the  dubious  honour  of  having 
slaves  amongst  its  residents  many  years  after 
slavery  had  ceased  to  exist  in  other  parts  of  the 

The  discussion  of  the  slavery  question 
incidentally  led  to  a  sharp  controversy  on  the 
subject  of  press  restrictions.  The  local  news- 
paper, the  Malacca  Observer,  which  was  printed 
at  the  Mission  Press,  in  dealing  with  the  points 
at  issue  ventured  to  write  somewhat  strongly 
on  the  attitude  of  the  Government.  Mr.  Fuller- 
ton,   who  took  a  strictly  official  view  of  the 

functions  of  the  press,  and  never  tolerated  the 
least  approach  to  freedom  in  newspaper  com- 
ments, peremptorily  ordered  the  withdrawal  of 
the  subsidy  which  the  paper  enjoyed  from 
the  Government.  Mr.  Garling,  the  Resident 
Councillor,  in  conveying  the  orders  of  his 
superior  to  the  offending  newspaper,  appears 
to  have  intimated  that  the  stoppage  of  the 
allowance  carried  with  it  the  withdrawal  of  the 
censorship.  Great  was  Mr.  Fullerton's  indig- 
nation when  he  learned  that  his  directions  had 
been  thus  interpreted.  He  indited  a  strongly- 
worded  communication  to  Mr.  Garling,  direct- 
ing him  to  re-institute  the  control  over  the  press, 
and  acquainting  him  that  he  would  be  held 
responsible  for  any  improper  pubHcation  that 
might  appear.  Not  content  with  this,  the  angry 
official  caused  a  long  letter  to  be  written  to  Mr. 
Murchison,  the  Resident  Councillor  at  Singa- 
pore, expatiating  on  the  magnitude  of  the 
blunder  that  had  been  committed,  and  warning 
him  against  a  similar  display  of  weakness  in 
the  case  of  the  Singapore  paper.  "The  partial 
and  offensive  style  adopted  by  the  editor  of  the 
Malacca  Observer  in  the  discussion  of  local 
slavery  had,"  he  said,  "tended  completely  to 
destroy  the  peace,  harmony,  and  good  order  of 
the  settlement,  and  as  that  question  had  been 
submitted  to  the  Supreme  Government  it  was 
most  desirable  that  the  subsisting  irritation 
should  be  allowed  to  subside,  and  that,  pending 
reference,  publications  at  a  neighbouring  settle- 
ment having  a  tendency  to  keep  it  alive,  and 
coming  professedly  from  the  same  channel, 
should  be  discouraged."  He  therefore  directed 
that  no  observations  bearing  on  the  question 
of  local  slavery  at  Malacca  should  be  permitted 
to  appear  in  the  Singapore  Chronicle.  After 
pointing  out  that  the  printers  were  responsible 
with  the  publishers,  the  letter  proceeded  :  "That 
a  Press  instituted  for  the  purpose  of  diffusing 
useful  knowledge  and  the  principles  of  religion 
and  morality  should  be  made  the  instrument 
for  disseminating  scandalous  aspersions  on  the 
Government  under  which  they  live,  is  a  point 
for  the  consideration  of  the  managers  in 
Europe."  Accompanying  the  letter  was  a 
minute  penned  by  Mr.  Fullerton  on  the  sub- 
ject of  the  outrageous  conduct  of  the  newspaper 
in  writing  freely  on  a  matter  of  great  public 
interest.  This  document  showed  that  the  irate 
Governor  had  a  great  command  of  minatory 
language.  He  wrote  :  "  A  more  indecent  and 
scurrilous  production  has  seldom  appeared, 
and  I  can  only  express  amazement  that,  with 
all  previous  discussions  before  him  connected 
with  the  paper,  Mr.  Garling  should  have 
thought  of  removing  restraints,  the  necessity 
of  which  was  sufficiently  demonstrated  by 
every  paper  brought  before  him."  He  ex- 
pressed "the  firm  conviction  that  unless 
supported  by  Mr.  Garling  himself  such  obser- 
vations would  never  have  appeared,  and  that 
he  has  all  along  had  the  means  of  putting  an 
end  to  such  lucubrations.  The  Government 
contributes  to  the  Free  School  210.8  dollars  per 
month  ;  the  editor  is  the  master  of  the  school, 
drawing  his  means  of  subsistence  from  the 
contribution  of  Government ;  the  printers  are 
the  members  of  the  Mission,  alike  supported  by 
Government,  and  I  must  repeat  my  belief  that, 
unless  supported  by  Mr.  Garling,  the  editor 
never  would  have  hazarded  such  observations. 




.  .  .  These  circumstances  only  show  how 
utterly  impracticable  the  existence  of  an  unre- 
stricted paper  is  to  the  state  of  the  settlement, 
and  the  endless  wrangling  and  disputes  it  must 
in  so  small  a  society  create,  and  as  I  presume 
the  paper  will  now  cease,  any  further  measure 
respecting  it  will  be  unnecessary  ;  the  experi- 
ment will  no  doubt  be  duly  remembered  should 
any  future  applications  be  made  to  Government 
to  sanction  such  a  publication."'  Mr.  Fuller- 
ton's  anticipation  that  his  drastic  measures  of 
discipline  would  be  fatal  to  the  Malacca  Obser- 
ver was  realised.  Soon  after  the  withdrawal 
of  the  subsidy  the  issue  of  the  journal  was 
stopped,  and  a  good  many  years  passed  be- 
fore another  newspaper  was  published  in  the 

Mr.  FuUerton  had  a  great  opinion  of  the 
conveniences  and  capabilities  of  Malacca.  So 
strongly  indeed  was  he  drawn  to  it  that  in  1828 
he  seriously  proposed  making  the  settlement 
the  capital.  He  urged  as  grounds  for  the 
change  that  Malacca  had  been  the  seat  of  Euro- 
pean Government  for  more  than  two  hundred 
years,  that  it  had  a  more  healthy  climate  than 
Pinang,  was  more  centrally  situated,  was 
within  two  days'  sail  of  Pinang  and  Singa- 
pore, and  had  more  resources  than  either  of 
those  settlements  for  providing  supplies  for 
troops.  B'urthermore  it,  being  on  the  conti- 
nent, commanded  an  interior,  and  owing  to 
the  shoal  water  no  ship  could  approach  near 
enough  to  bring  its  guns  to  bear  on  the  shore  ; 
•  "  Straits  Settlements  Records,"  Xo.  128. 

it  had  an  indigenous  and  attached  population, 
and  in  a  political  view  it  was  conveniently 
situated  for  maintaining  such  influence  over 
the  Malay  States  as  would  prevent  them  from 
faUing  under  Siamese  dominion,  and  was  near 
enough  to  the  end  of  the  straits  to  enable  the 
proceedings  of  the  Dutch  to  be  watched.  It 
was  said  afterwards  by  Mr.  Blundell,  Governor 
of  the  Straits,  that  there  was  much  force  in  the 
arguments,  but  that  it  had  become  so  much  the 
habit  to  decry  Malacca  and  pity  the  state  into 
which  ic  was  supposed  to  have  fallen,  that  the 
argument  would  at  that  time  only  excite  a  smile 
of  ridicule.  • 

After  the  first  shock  of  the  Singapore  com- 
petition the  trade  of  Malacca  settled  down  into 
a  condition  of  stagnation  from  which  it  was 
not  to  recover  for  many  years.  The  com- 
mercial transactions  carried  through  almost 
exclusively  related  to  articles  of  local  produc- 
tion. The  staple  exports  were  gold-dust  and 
tin.  In  1836  it  was  stated  that  annually  about 
Rs.  20,000  worth  of  the  former  and  Rs.  150,000 
of  the  latter  were  exported,  chiefly  to  Madras, 
Calcutta,  Singapore,  Pinang,  and  China.  The 
produce  filtered  through  from  the  native  Slates 
in  the  Hinterland,  and  small  as  the  annual 
exports  were,  they  were  sufficient  to  show  what 
wealth  might  be  drawn  upon  if  only  a  settled 
system  of  government  were  introduced  into  the 
interior.  As  regards  gold,  the  bulk  of  the  pro- 
duce came  from  Mount  Ophir  and  its  neigh- 
bourhood. But  from  time  to  time  there  were 
'  ''Anecdotal  History  of  Singapore,"  i.  228. 

rumours  of  discoveries  in  other  directions. 
For  example,  in  the  records  for  1828  is  a  Malacca 
letter  reporting  the  discovery  of  a  gold  mine  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  settlement.  The  mine  was 
said  to  yield  a  fair  return  to  the  80  Chinese 
engaged  in  working  it,  but  the  results  were  not 
sufficiently  good  to  promise  any  permanent 
material  advantage. 

In  later  years  the  course  of  Malacca  life  has 
been  uneventful.  "  Happy  is  the  nation  that 
has  no  history,"  writes  the  poet.  We  may 
paraphrase  the  line  and  say,  "  Happy  is  the 
settlement  that  has  no  history."  If  Malacca 
has  not  been  abundantly  blessed  with  trade  she 
has  had  no  great  calamities  or  serious  losses  to 
lament.  She  drifted  on  down  the  avenue  of 
time  calmly  and  peacefully,  like  one  of  the 
ancient  regime  who  is  above  the  ordinary  sordid 
realities  of  life,  .i  few  years  since  the  inno- 
vating railway  intruded  upon  the  dull  serenity 
of  her  existence,  bringing  in  its  wake  the  bustle 
of  the  twentieth  century.  This  change  will 
become  more  pronounced  with  the  extension 
of  the  railway  system  throughout  the  peninsula. 
Trade  from  the  central  districts  will  naturally 
gravitate  to  Malacca,  as  the  most  convenient 
outlet  for  all  purposes  on  this  part  of  the  coast, 
and  the  settlement  will  also  benefit  both  directly 
and  indirectly  from  the  development  of  the 
rubber  industry  which  is  proceeding  on  every 
hand.  In  this  way  the  old  prosperity  of  the  port 
will  be  revived,  and  she  will  once  more  plav  an 
active  part  in  the  commercial  history  of  the 




{With  chapters  on  the  early  history  of  the  Malays  and  the  Portuguese  and  Dutch  periods  by  Mr.  R.  J.  Wilkixson, 

Secretary  to  the  Resident  of  Perak). 


I  X  T  R  O  D  U  C  T  O  R  Y 

AXY  successes  have  been 
accomplished  by  British 
administrators  invarious 
parts  of  the  Empire,  but 
there  is  perhaps  no  more 
remarkable  achievement 
to  their  credit  than  the 
establishment  of  the 
Federated  Malay  States 
on  their  existing  basis.  Less  than  a  half- 
century-  since,  the  territory  embraced  within 
the  confederation  was  a  wild  and  thinly  in- 
habited region,  over  which  a  few  untutored 
chiefs  exercised  a  mere  semblance  of  authority. 
Piracy  was  rife  on  the  coast,  and  the  interior, 
where  not  impenetrable  jungle  or  inaccessible 
swamp,  was  given  over  to  the  savagest  anar- 
chical conditions.  There  was  little  legitimate 
trade  ;  there  were  no  proper  roads  ;  the  towns, 
so  called,  were  miserable  collections  of  huts 
devoid  of  even  the  rudiments  of  civilised  life  ; 
the  area  was  a  sort  of  no-man'.i-land,  where 
the  rule  of  might  flourished  in  its  nakedebt 
form.  To-day  the  States  have  a  revenue 
approaching  twenty-five  million  dollars,  and 
they  e.^port  annually  produce  worth  more 
than  eighty  million  dollars.  There  are  over 
2,500  miles  of  splendid  roads,  and  396  miles 
of  railways  built  at  a  cost  of  37,261,922  dollars, 
and  earning  annually  upwards  of  four  million 
dollars.  The  population,  which  in  1879  was 
only  81,084,  is  now  close  upon  a  million,  and 
there  are  towns  which  have  nearly  as  many 
inhabitants  as  were  to  be  found  in  the  entire 
area  before  the  advent  of  the  British.  A  net- 
work of  postal  and  telegraph  agencies  covers 
the  land  ;  there  are  schools  accommodating 
nearly  si.xteen  thousand  pupils,  and  hospitals 
which  annually  minister  to  nearly  sixty  thousand 
in-patients  and  one  hundred  and  twenty  thou- 
sand out-patients.  We  may  search  in  vain  in 
the  annals  of  colonisation  for  a  more  brilliant 
example  of  the  successful  application  of  sound 
principles  of  government  in  the  case  of  a 
backward  community  residing  in  a  wild,  un- 

developed region.  And  yet  it  would  seem 
that  we  are  little  more  than  on  the  threshold 
of  this  great  venture  in  administration.  Such 
is  the  richness  and  promise  of  this  region  that 
the  statistics  of  to-day  may  a  few  decades  hence 
pale  into  insignificance  beside  the  results  which 
will  then  be  presented.  It  is  truly  a  wonderful 
land,  this  over  which  the  favouring  shadow  of 
British  protection  has  been  cast,  and  the  Briton 
may  point  to  it  with  legitimate  pride  as  a  con- 
vincing proof  that  the  genius  of  his  race  for 
rule  in  subject  lands  exists  in  undiminished 

Though  the  influences  which  have  given  this 
notable  addition  to  the  Empire  are  almost  en- 
tirely modern,  the  importance  of  extending  the 
protecting  influence  of  our  flag  to  the  Malay 
States  was  long  since  recognised.  Mr.  John 
-Anderson,  in  his  famous  pamphlet  on  the  con- 
quest of  Kedah,  to  which  reference  has  been 
made  in  the  earlier  historical  sections  of  this 
work,  argued  strenuously  in  favour  of  a  for- 
ward policy  in  the  peninsula.  "  In  extending 
our  protecting  influence  to  Quedah  and  de- 
claring the  other  Malayan  States  under  our 
guardianship  against  foreign  invasion,  we 
acquire,"  he  wrote,  "  a  vast  increase  of  colonial 
power  without  any  outlay  or  hazard,  and  we 
rescue  from  oppression  a  countless  multitude 
of  human  bemgs  who  will  no  doubt  become 
attached  and  faithful  dependents  ;  we  protect 
them  in  the  quiet  pursuits  of  commerce,  and 
give  life  and  energy  to  their  exertions.  We 
shall  acquire  for  our  country  the  valuable  pro- 
ducts of  these  countries  without  those  obnoxious 
impositions  under  which  we  formerly  derived 
supplies  from  the  West  Indies."  These  saga- 
cious counsels  were  re-echoed  by  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles  in  his  "  Memoir  on  the  Administration 
of  the  Eastern  Islands,"  which  he  penned  after 
the  occupation  of  Singapore.  ■'  .Among  the 
Malay  States,"  he  remarked,  "  we  shall  find 
none  of  the  obstacles  which  exist  among  the 
more  civilised  people  of  India  to  the  reception 
of  new  customs  and  ideas.  They  have  not 
undergone  the  same  artificial  moulding ;  they 
are  fresher  from  the  hand  of  Nature,  and  the 
absence  of  bigotry  and  inveterate  prejudice 
leaves  them  much  more  open  to  receive  new 

impressions.  With  a  high  reverence  for 

ancestrj-  and  nobility  of  descent,  they  are  more 
influenced,  and  are  quicker  discerners  of  supe- 
riority of  individual  talent,  than  is  usual  among 
people  not  far  advanced  in  civilisation.  They 
are  addicted  to  commerce,  which  has  already 
given  a  taste  for  luxuries,  and  this  propensity 
they  indulge  to  the  utmost  extent  of  their 
means.  Among  a  people  so  unsophisticated 
and  so  free  from  prejudices,  it  is  obvious  that 
a  greater  scope  is  given  to  the  influence  of 
example ;  that  in  proportion  as  their  inter- 
course with  Europeans  increases,  and  a  free 
commerce  adds  to  their  resources,  along  with 
the  wants  which  will  be  created  and  the 
luxuries  supplied,  the  humanising  arts  of  life 
will  also  find  their  way  ;  and  we  may  antici- 
pate a  much  more  rapid  improvement  than  in 
nations  who,  having  once  arrived  at  a  high 
point  in  civilisation  and  retrograded  in  the 
scale,  and  now  burdened  by  the  recollection 
of  what  they  once  were,  are  brought  up  in  a 
contempt  for  everything  beyond  their  own 
narrow  circle,  and  who  have  for  centuries 
bent  under  the  double  load  of  foreign  tyranny 
and  priestly  intolerance.  When  these  striking 
and  important  difterences  are  taken  into  ac- 
count, we  may  be  permitted  to  indulge  more 
sanguine  expectations  of  improvement  among 
the  tribes  of  the  Eastern  Isles.  We  may  look 
forward  to  an  early  abolition  of  piracy  and 
illicit  traffic  when  the  seas  shall  be  open  to  the 
free  current  of  commerce,  and  when  the  British 
flag  shall  wave  over  them  in  protection  of  its 
freedom  and  in  promotion  of  its  spirit."  Here, 
as  usual.  Raffles  showed  how  completely  he 
understood  the  problems  underlying  the  exist- 
ence of  British  authority  in  the  Straits.  But 
his  and  his  brother-official's  views  were  dis- 
regarded by  the  timid  oligarchy  which  had 
the  last  voice  in  the  direction  of  British 
policy  in  Malaya  at  this  period.  Kedah, 
as  we  have  seen,  was  given  over  to  its 
fate.  A  little  timely  exertion  of  authority 
would  have  saved  that  interesting  State  and 
its  people  from  the  horrors  of  the  Siamese 
invasion,  and  have  paved  the  way  for  the  great 
work  which  was  commenced  a  half-century 
later.     But  the  Government  in  Calcutta  shrank 



from  the  small  risk  involved  in  the  support  of 
the  liaja,  and  a  ruthless  despotism  was  estab- 
lished in  the  area,  to  the  discredit  of  British 
diplomacy  and  to  the  extreme  detriment  of 
British  trade. 

Before  entering  upon  a  narration  of  the 
various  steps  which  led  up  to  the  establish- 
ment of  British  influence  in  the  greater  part 
of  the  Malay  peninsula  we  may  profitably 
make  a  retrospective  survey  of  this  important 
area  in  its  ethnological  and  historical  aspects. 
For  this  purpose  it  will  be  appropriate  to 
introduce  here  some  valuable  chapters  kindly 
contributed  by  Mr.  R.  Wilkinson,  of  the 
Federated  Malay  States  Civil  Service,  who  has 
given  much  study  to  the  early  history  of 

Wild  Aboriginal  Tribes. 

It  is  a  matter  of  common  knowledge  that  the 
Malays  were  not  the  first  inhabitants  of  the 
peninsula.  Although  they  intermarried  with 
the  aborigines,  and  although  they  show  many 
traces  of  mixed  blood,  they  failed  to  completely 
absorb  the  races  that  they  supplanted.  The 
new  settlers  kept  to  the  rivers  ;  the  older  races 
lived  on  the  mountains  or  among  the  swamps. 
Some  of  the  old  tribes  died  out,  some  adopted 
the  ways  of  the  Malays,  but  others  retained 
their  own  language  and  their  primitive  culture 
and  are  still  to  be  found  in  many  parts  of 
British  Malaya. 

The  negrito  aborigines  collectively  known  as 
Semang  are  usually  believed  to  have  been  the 
first  race  to  occupy  the  peninsula.  As  they  are 
closely  akin  to  the  Aetas  of  the  Philippines  and 
the  Mincopies  of  the  Andamans,  they  must  at 
one  time  have  covered  large  tracts  of  country 
from  which  tliey  have  since  completely  dis- 
appeared, but  at  the  present  day  they  are  mere 
survivals,  and  play  no  part  whatever  in  civilised 
life.  Slowly  but  surely  they  are  dying  out. 
Even  within  the  last  century  they  occupied  the 
swampy  coast  districts  from  Trang  in  the  North 
to  the  borders  of  Larut  in  the  South,  but  at  the 
census  of  i8gi  only  one  negrito,  vifho,  as  the 
enumerator  said,  "twittered  like  a  bird,"  was 
recorded  from  Province  Wellesley,  and  in  igoi 
not  one  single  survivor  was  found.  Although 
present-day  students — who  naturally  prefer  the 
evidence  of  their  own  eyes  to  the  records  of 
past  observers — are  inclined  to  regard  the 
Semang  as  a  mountain  people,  it  is  quite 
possible  that  their  more  natural  habitat  was 
the  swamp  country  from  which  they  have  been 
expelled.  Whether  this  be  so  or  not,  the 
negritoes  of  British  Malaya  are  usually  divided 
up  by  the  Malays  into  three  ;  the  Semang  Paya 
or  Swamp-Semangs  (now  almost  extinct)  ;  the 
Semang  Bukit  or  Mountain  Semangs,  who  in- 
habit the  mountains  of  Upper  Perak  ;  and  the 
Pangan,  who  are  occasionally  found  in  some  of 
the  hills  between  Pahang  and  Kelantan. 

The  culture  of  some  of  these  negrito  tribes 
is  very  primitive.  The  wilder  Semangs  are 
extremely  nomadic  ;  they  are  not  acquainted 
with  any  form  of  agriculture  ;  they  use  bows 
and  arrows  ;  they  live  in  mere  leaf-shelters, 
with  floors  that  are  not  raised  above  the 
ground  ;    their    quivers    and    other    bamboo 

utensils  are  very  roughly  made  and  adorned. 
Such  statements  would  not,  however,  be  true 
of  the  whole  Semang  race.  A  few  tribes  have 
learned  to  plant ;  others  to  use  the  blowpipe  ; 
others  have  very  beautifully  made  quivers. 
Some  go  so  far — if  Mr.  Skeat  is  to  be  relied 
upon — as  to  include  the  theft  of  a  blunderbuss 
in  their  little  catalogues  of  crime.  Unless,  how- 
ever, we  are  prepared  to  believe  that  they 
invented  such  things  as  blunderbusses,  we  have 

If  identity  of  language  is  any  criterion  of 
common  orighi,  the  Northern  Sakai  racial 
division  includes  the  tribes  known  as  the 
"Sakai  of  Korbu,"  the  "Sakai  of  the  Plus," 
the  "Sakai  of  Tanjong  Rambutan "  and  the 
"  Tembe,"  who  inhabit  the  Pahang  side  of  the 
great  Kinta  mountains.  As  these  Northern 
Sakai  are  rather  darker  than  the  Sakai  of 
Batang  Padang,  and  not  quite  as  dark  as  the 
Semang,  they  have  sometimes  been  classed  as 

j\^  jiip  ji-^-.  5;0  OJ^^^ 


OF    THE    MALAY    RACE. 

to  admit  that  they  must  have  borrowed  some 
of  their  neighbours'  culture. 

A  few  Semang  are  still  to  be  found  in  the 
mountains  between  Selaraa  and  the  Perak 
valleys.  Others  doubtless  exist  in  the  little 
known  country  that  lies  between  Temengor 
and  the  river  Plus  ;  but  south  of  the  Plus  we 
come  to  a  fairer  race,  the  northern  division  of 
the  numerous  tribes  that  are  often  grouped 
together  as  "  Sakai." 

a  mere  mixed  race,  a  cross  between  their 
northern  and  southern  neighbours.  This  is 
not  necessarily  the  case.  Their  rather  serious 
appearance,  for  one  thing,  does  not  suggest  an 
admixture  of  the  infantile  physiognomy  of  the 
Semang  and  the  gay  boyish  looks  of  the  Sakai 
of  Slim  and  Bidor.  Moreover,  their  industrial 
art — to  judge  by  blowpipes  and  quivers — is 
higher  than  that  of  their  neighbours.  They 
practise  agriculture,  and  live  in  small  houses 



raised  above  the  ground — the  commonest  type 
of  house  throughout  Indo-China. 

The  expression  "  Central  Sakai "  has  been 
used  to  cover  a  group  of  tribes  who  Uve  in  the 
Batang  Padang  mountains  and  speak  what  is 
practically  a  common  language — though  there 
are  a  few  dialectic  differences  in  the  different 
parts  of  this  district.  Mr.  Hugh  Clifford  was 
the  first  to  point  out  the  curiously  abrupt  racial 
frontier  between  the  "  Tembe  "  to  the  north 
and  the  "  Senoi "  (his  name  for  the  Central 
Sakai)  to  the  south.  But  all  the  secrets  of  this 
racial  frontier  have  not  yet  been  revealed. 
Although  the  Sakai  who  live  in  the  valleys 
above  Gopeng  speak  a  language  that  very 
closely  resembles  the  language  of  the  Sakai 
of  Bidor,  Sungkai  and  Slim,  they  seem  still 
closer  akin — racially — to  their  neighbours  in 
the   north.     Moreover,   if   we    look  up  from 

than  those  of  their  northern  and  southern 
neighbours.  Linguistically  we  are  still  in  the 
"  Central  Sakai  "  region. 

Near  Tanjong  Malim  (the  boundary  between 
Perak  and  Selangor)  the  type  suddenly  changes. 
We  come  upon  fresh  tribes  differing  in  appear- 
ance from  the  Central  Sakai,  living  (in  some 
cases)  in  lofty  tree  huts,  and  speaking  varieties 
of  the  great  "  Besisi "  group  of  Sakai  dialects. 
The  men  who  speak  these  Besisi  dialects 
seem  to  be  a  very  mixed  race.  Some — dwell- 
ing in  the  Selangor  mountains — are  a  singularly 
well  built  race.  Others  who  live  in  the  swamps 
and  in  the  coast  districts  are  a  more  miserable 
people  of  slighter  build,  and  with  a  certain 
suggestion  of  negrito  admixture.  Their  culture 
is  comparatively  high.  They  have  a  more 
elaborate  social  system,  with  triple  headmen 
instead  of  a  solitary  village  elder  to  rule  the 


A,  B,  c,  D,  Semang  Quivers. 

H,  Quiver  from  Slim. 

E,  F,  Nortliern  Sakai  Quivers. 
I,  J,  Besisi  Quivers. 

G,  Batang  Padang  Quiver. 
K,  Kuantan  Quiver. 

Gopeng  to  the  far  mountains  lying  just  to  the 
north  of  Gunong  Berembun,  we  can  see  clear- 
ings made  by  another  tribe — the  Mai  Liik  or 
"  men  of  the  mountains,"  of  whom  the  Central 
Sakai  stand  in  deadly  fear.  These  mysterious 
Mai  Luk  have  communal  houses  like  the 
Borneo  Dyaks,  they  plant  vegetables,  they  paint 
their  foreheads,  they  are  credited  with  great 
ferocity,  and  they  speak  a  language  of  which  the 
only  thing  known  is  that  it  is  not  Central  Sakai. 
As  we  proceed  further  south  the  racial  type 
slowly  changes  until — in  the  mountains  behind 
Tapah,  Bidor,  Sungkai  and  Slim — we  come  to  a 
distinct  and  unmistakable  type  that  is  compara- 
ti-^ely  well  known  to  European  students.  These 
Mai  Darat,  or  hill  men,  are  slightly  lower  in 
culture  than  the  Northern  Sakai  ;  they  live  in 
shelters  rather  than  huts ;  their  quivers  and 
blowpipes  are   very  much  more  simply  made 

small  community.  This  form  of  tribal  organisa- 
tion— under  a  bafiii,  jenang,  an&ickra  [or  jura 
krah) — is  common  to  a  very  large  number  of 
tribes  in  the  south  of  the  peninsula,  and  is  also 
found  among  the  Orang  Laut,  or  Sea-gipsies. 
The  Besisi  tribes  cultivate  the  soil,  build  fair 
houses,  have  some  artistic  sense,  are  fond  of 
music,  possess  a  few  primitive  songs,  and 
know  something  of  the  art  of  navigation.  They 
are  found  all  over  Selangor,  Negri  Sembilan, 
and  Malacca. 

In  the  mountains  of  Jelebu,  near  the  head- 
waters of  the  Kongkoi  and  Kenaboi  rivers,  are 
found  the  Kenaboi,  a  shy  and  mysterious  people 
who  speak  a  language  totally  unlike  either 
Central  Sakai,  Besisi,  or  Malay.  So  little  is 
known  about  the  Kenaboi  that  it  would  be 
dangerous  to  commit  oneself  to  any  conjecture 
regarding  their  position  in  the  ethnography  of 

the  peninsula,  but  it  is  at  least  probable  that 
they  represent  a  distinct  and  very  interesting 
racial  element.  In  the  flat  country  on  the 
border  between  Negri  Sembilan  and  Pahang 
we  meet  the  Serting  Sakai,  an  important  and 
rather  large  tribe  that  seems  at  one  time  to 
have  been  in  contact  with  some  early  Mon- 
Anam  civilisation.  Moreover,  it  is  said  that 
there  are  traces  of  ancient  canal-cuttings  in  the 
country  that  this  tribe  occupies.  By  the  upper 
wajers  of  the  Rompin  river  there  Uve  many 
Sakai  of  whom  very  little  is  known.  They 
may  be  "Besisi,"  "Serting  Sakai,"  "Jakun," 
or  "Sakai  of  Kuantan."  The  term  "Jakun  "  is 
applied  to  a  large  number  of  remnants  of  old 
Malacca  and  Johore  tribes  that  have  now  been 
so  much  affected  by  Malay  civilisation  as  to 
make  it  impossible  to  ever  hope  to  clear  up  the 
mystery  of  their  origin.  A  few  brief  Jakun 
vocabularies  have  been  collected  in  the  past,  a 
few  customs  noted.  It  is  perhaps  too  much  to 
expect  that  anything  more  will  ever  be  done. 

The  aborigines  who  inhabit  the  country 
near  Kuantan  (and  perhaps  near  Pekan,  and 
even  further  south)  speak  a  language  of  their 
own,  of  which  no  vocabulary  has  ever  been 
collected,  and  use  curious  wooden  blowpipes 
of  a  very  unusual  type.  They  may  be  a  dis- 
tinct race,  as  they  seem  to  have  a  primitive 
culture  that  is  quite  peculiar  to  themselves. 
In  the  mountainous  region  lying  between 
this  Kuantan  district  and  the  Tembeling  river 
there  is  found  another  tribe  of  Sakais,  who  wear 
strange  rattan  girdles  like  the  Borneo  Dyaks, 
and  speak  a  language  of  which  one  observer, 
though  acquainted  with  Malay,  Central  Sakai, 
and  Northern  Sakai,  could  make  out  nothing. 
In  the  mountain  mass  known  as  Gunong 
Benom  (in  Pahang)  there  are  found  other 
tribes  of  Sakais  speaking  a  language  that  has 
some  kinship  with  Besisi  and  Serting  Sakai. 
Very  little  else  is  known  about  them. 

We  possess  fairly  good  specimens — vocabu- 
laries of  the  languages  of  all  the  better  known 
Sakai  and  Semang  dialects.  With  the  single 
exception  of  Kenaboi,  they  have  a  very 
marked  common  element,  and  may  be  classed 
as  divisions  of  the  same  language,  although  the 
peoples  that  speak  them  show  such  differences 
of  race  and  culture.  This  language  is  compli- 
cated and  inflected,  and  it  has  an  elaborate 
grammar,  but  so  little  is  known  of  the  details 
of  its  structure  that  we  dare  not  generalise  or 
point  to  any  one  dialect  as  being  probably 
the  purest  form  of  Sakai.  It  is  impossible  also 
to  say  which  race  first  brought  this  form  of 
speech  to  the  peninsula.  It  would,  however, 
be  rash  to  assume  that  Sakai  and  Kenaboi  are 
the  only  two  distinctive  types  of  language  used 
by  these  wild  tribes.  Nothing  sufficient  is  yet 
known  of  the  speech  of  the  Mai  Luk,  of  the 
dialects  of  Kuantan,  and  of  the  old  Jakun  lan- 
guages. Far  too  much  has  been  inferred  from 
the  customs  of  what  one  may  term  the  "  stock  " 
tribes  of  Sakai — the  tribes  that  are  readily  acces- 
sible and  therefore  easy  to  study.  Such  peoples 
have  been  visited  again  and  again  by  casual 
observers,  to  the  neglect  of  the  remoter  and 
lesser-known  tribes,  who  may  prove  to  be  far 
more  interesting  in  the  end.  When  we 
consider  the  physical  differences  between  tribe 
and  tribe,  the  differences  of  language,  the 
differences    of    culture    evinced    in    types    of 



dwellings,  in  tribal  organisation,  in  weapons, 
and  in  mode  of  life,  we  may  perhaps  be  ex- 
cused for  thinking  that  the  racial  elements  in 
the  peninsula  will  prove  to  be  more  numerous 
and  important  than  scientists  are  apt  to  believe. 

Meanwhile  the  peninsula  presents  us  with  a 
curious  historical  museum,  showing  every  grade 
of  primitive  culture.  It  gives  us  the  humble 
negrito  who  has  not  learnt  to  till  the  ground, 
but  wanders  over  the  country  and  lives  from 
hand  to  mouth  on  the  products  of  the  jungle. 
It  gives  us  the  same  negrito  after  he  has  learnt 
the  rudiments  of  art  and  agriculture  from  his 
Sakai  neighbours.  It  gives  us  the  Sakai  who 
grows  certain  simple  fruits  and  vegetables,  and 
is  nomadic  in  a  far  slighter  degree  than  the 
primitive  Semang.  A  man  who  plants  is  a 
man  who  lives  some  time  in  one  place,  and 
therefore  may  find  it  worth  his  vs'hile  to  build 
a  more  substantial  dwelling  than  a  mere  shelter 
for  a  night.  Here,  however,  primitive  culture 
stops.  Even  the  man  who  has  learnt  to  plant 
a  crop  in  a  clearing  must  abandon  his  home 
when  the  soil  begins  to  be  exhausted.  The 
boundary  between  primitive  culture  and 
civilisation  cannot  be  said  to  be  reached 
until  habitations  become  really  permanent, 
and  until  a  comparatively  small  area  can 
support  a  large  population.  That  boundary 
is  therefore  crossed  when  a  people  learn  to 
renew  the  fertility  of  land  by  irrigation  or  by 
.manuring,  or  by  a  proper  system  of  rotation  of 
crops.  The  Malays,  with  their  system  of  rice- 
planting — the  irrigated  rice,  not  hill  rice — have 
crossed  that  boundary.  But  no  Sakai  tribe  has 
yet  done  so. 

Mr.  Cameron,  in  his  work  on  Malaya,  gives 
an  interesting  description  of  the  aborigines.  A 
few  passages  relative  to  the  tribal  beliefs  may 
be  cited. 

"  The  accounts  of  their  origin,"  he  says,  "  are 
amusing.  .  .  .  Among  one  tribe  it  is  stated, 
and  with  all  gravity,  that  they  are  descended 
from  two  white  apes,  Ounkeh  Puteh,  who, 
having  reared  their  young  ones,  sent  them 
into  the  plains,  where  the  greater  number 
perfected  so  well  that  they  became  men  ; 
those  who  did  not  become  men  returned  once 
more  to  the  mountains,  and  still  continue  apes. 
Another  account,  less  favourable  to  the  theory 
.of  progressive  creation,  is  that  God,  having  in 
heaven  called  into  life  a  being  endowed  with 
great  strength  and  beauty,  named  him  Batin. 
God,  desirous  that  a  form  so  fair  should  be 
perpetirated,  gave  to  Batin  a  companion,  and 
told  him  to  seek  a  dwelling  upon  earth. 
Charmed  with  its  beauties,  Batin  and  his 
companion  alighted  and  took  up  their  abode 
on  the  banks  of  the  river  of  Johore,  close  to 
Sijigapore,  increasing  and  multiplying  with  a 
rapidity  and  to  a  degree  now  unknown,  and 
from  these  two,  they  say,  all  the  tribes  of  the 
peninsula  are  descended." 

Another  tribe,  the  Binnas,  give  an  account 
of  their  origin  which  strongly  recalls  the 
Xoachian  story  of  Scripture.  "  The  ground, 
they  say,  on  which  we  stand  is  not  solid.  It 
is  merely  the  skin  of  the  earth  (Kulit  Bumi). 
In  ancient  times  God  broke  up  this  skin,  so 
that  the  world  was  destroyed  and  over- 
whelmed with  water.  Afterwards  he  caused 
Gunong  Lulumut,  with  Chimundang'and  Bech- 
nak,   to    rise,   and    this    low    land    which   we 

inhabit  was  formed  later.  These  mountains 
on  the  south,  and  Mount  Ophir,  Gunong  Kap, 
Gunong  Tonkat  Bangsi  and  Gunong  Tonkat 
Subang  on  the  north  (all  mountains  within  a 
short  radius),  give  a  fixity  to  the  earth's  skin. 
The  earth  still  depends  entirely  on  these 
mountains  for  steadiness.  The  Lulumut 
mountains  are  Ihe  oldest  land.  The  summit 
of  Gunong  Tonkat  Bangsi  is  within  one  foot 
of  the  sky,  that  of  Gunong  Tonkat  Subang  is 
within  an  ear-ring's  length,  and  that  of  Gunong 
Kap  is  in  contact  with  it.  After  Lulumut  had 
emerged  a  prahu  of  pulai  wood,  covered  over 
and  without  any  opening,  floated  on  the 
waters.  In  this  God  had  enclosed  a  man 
and  a  woman  whom  He  had  made.  After 
the  lapse  of  some  time  the  prahu  was  neither 
directed  with  nor  against  the  current,  nor  driven 
to  and  fro.  The  man  and  woman,  feeling  it  to 
rest  motionless,  nibbled  their  way  through  it, 
stood  on  the  dry  ground,  and  beheld  this  our 
world.  At  first,  however,  everything  was 
obscure.  There  was  neither  morning  nor 
evening,  because  the  sun  had  not  yet  been 
made.  When  it  became  light  they  saw  seven 
Sindudo  trees  and  seven  plants  of  Ramput 
Sambau.  They  then  said  to  each  other,  '  In 
what  a  condition  are  we,  without  children 
or  grandchildren  ! '  Some  time  afterwards 
the  woman  became  pregnant,  not,  however, 
in  her  womb,  but  in  the  calves  of  her  legs. 
From  the  right  leg  was  brought  forth  a  male 
and  from  the  left  a  female  child.  Hence  it  is 
that  the  issue  of  the  same  womb  cannot  inter- 
marry. All  mankind  are  the  descendants  of 
the  two  children  of  the  first  pair.  When 
men  had  much  increased  God  looked  down 
upon  them  with  pleasure  and  reckoned  their 
numbers."  The  Mantra  tribe  behind  JMount 
Ophir  have  a  somewhat  similar  legend. 
"They  say  that  their  fathers  came  originally 
from  heaven  in  a  large  and  magnificent  ship 
built  by  God,  which  was  set  floating  on  the 
waters  of  the  earth.  The  ship  sailed  with  fear- 
ful rapidity  round  and  about  the  earth  till  it 
grounded  upon  one  of  the  mountains  of  the 
peninsula,  where  they  declare  it  is  still  to  be 
seen.  Their  fathers  disembarked  and  took  up 
their  abode  on  the  new  earth,  some  on  the 
coast,  some  on  the  plains,  and  others  on  the 
mountains,  but  all  under  one  chief  called 
Batin  Alam." 

Their  description  of  the  probable  end  of  the 
world,  as  given  by  Mr.  Cameron  from  notes 
supplied  him  by  Father  Borie,  a  Roman 
Catholic  missionary  to  the  Jakun  near 
Malacca,  may  be  given  as  a  pendant  to  these 
curious  traditions  :  "  The  human  race  having 
ceased  to  five,  a  great  wind  will  arise  accom- 
panied by  rain,  the  waters  wilt  descend  with 
rapidity,  lightning  will  fill  the  space  all  around, 
and  the  mountains  will  sink  down  ;  then  a 
great  heat  will  succeed  ;  there  will  be  no  more 
night,  and  the  earth  will  wither  like  the  grass 
in  the  field  ;  God  will  then  come  down 
surrounded  by  an  immense  whirlwind  of  flame, 
ready  to  consume  the  universe.  But  God  will 
first  assemble  the  souls  of  the  sinners,  burn 
them  for  the  first  time  and  weigh  them,  after 
having  collected  their  ashes  by  means  of  a 
fine  piece  of  linen  cloth.  Those  who  will 
have  thus  passed  the  first  time  through  the 
furnace  without  having  been  purified  will  be 

successively  burned  and  weighed  for  seven 
times,  when  all  those  souls  which  have  been 
purified  will  go  to  enjoy  the  happiness  of 
heaven,  and  those  that  cannot  be  purified— 
that  is  to  say,  the  souls  of  great  sinners,  such 
as  homicides  and  those  who  have  been  guilty 
of  rape— will  be  cast  into  hell,  where  they  will 
suffer  the  torments  of  flames  in  company  with 
devils  ;  there  will  be  tigers  and  serpents  in  hell 
to  torment  the  damned.  Lastly,  God,  having 
taken  a  light  from  hell,  will  close  the  portals 
and  then  set  fire  to  the  earth." 


Early  Civilisation. 

Although  the  British  possessions  in  Malaya 
are  not  absolutely  destitute  of  archteological 
remains,  they  are  singularly  poor  in  rehcs  of 
antiquity  when  contrasted  with  Java  and  Cam- 
bodia, or  even  with  the  northern  part  of  the 
peninsula  itself.  Ancient  inscriptions  have 
been  found  in  Kedah,  in  the  Northern  District 
of  Province  Wellesley,  in  the  Central  District 
of  Province  Wellesley,  and,  as  has  been  noted, 
in  the  island  of  Singapore.  That  in  Kedah  has 
been  completely  deciphered  ;  it  is  a  Buddhist 
formula,  such  as  might  have  been  written  up 
in  the  cell  or  cave  of  an  ascetic.  That  in  the 
north  of  Province  Wellesley  was  carved  on  a 
pillar  that  seemed  to  form  part  of  a  little 
temple  ;  it  has  not  been  completely  deciphered, 
but  from  the  form  of  the  written  character  it  is 
believed  to  date  back  to  the  year  400  A.D.,  and 
to  be  the  oldest  inscription  in  this  part  of  the 
world,  unless,  indeed,  the  Kedah  writing  is 
slightly  more  ancient.  The  rock  carvings  at 
Cheroh  Tokun,  near  Bukit  Mertajam,  belong  to 
various  dates  and  are  too  worn  away  to  be  read 
in  connected  sentences  ;  the  oldest  seems  to  go 
back  to  the  fifth  century  and  another  to  the 
sixth  century  A.D.  As  the  monument  in  Singa- 
pore was  blown  up  by  the  Public  Works 
Department  in  order  to  make  room  for  some 
town  improvements,  it  is  no  longer  available 
for  study,  but  from  a  rough  copy  made  before 
its  destruction  it  seems  to  have  been  in  the 
ancient  Kawi  character  of  Java  or  Sumatra, 
It  probably  dates  back  to  the  thirteenth  or  four- 
teenth century  A.u.  Another  inscription,  pre- 
sumably of  the  same  class,  is  to  be  seen  at  Pulau 
Karimun,  near  Singapore. 

Near  Pengkalan  Kampas,  on  the  Linggi 
river,  there  are  a  number  of  broken  monu- 
ments which,  though  they  seem  to  be  of 
comparatively  recent  date,  are  of  considerable 
interest.  On  a  curious  four-sided  pillar  there 
are  four  inscriptions,  two  in  clear-cut  Arabic 
and  two  in  the  fainter  lettering  of  an  unknown 
script.  Below  these  inscriptions  there  is  a 
circular  hole  cut  right  through  the  pillar  and 
just  large  enough  to  permit  of  the  passage  of  a 
man's  arm— it  is,  indeed,  believed  that  this  pillar 
(which  has  been  much  used  for  oaths  and 
ordeals)  will  tighten  round  the  arm  of  anv  man 
who  is  rash  enough  to  swear  falsely  when  in  its 
power.  Near  this  pillar  is  another  cut  stone 
on  which  the  lettering  of  some  old  non- Arabic 
insciiption  can  be  dimly  seen.  As  there  are 
many  other  fragments  of  carved  stone  that  go  to 

D  * 



make  up  the  kramat,  or  holy  place,  of  which  the 
inscriptions  form  part,  the  Malays  have  invented 
a  legend  that  these  monuments  represent  the 
petrified  property  of  an  ancient  saint — his 
spoon,  his  sword,  and  his  buclcler.  Maho- 
medan  zeal  seems  also  to  have  carved  the  holy 
name  of  Allah  on  the  sword  of  the  saint,  and  to 

some  curious  old  bronzes  resembling  bells  that 
have  been  dug  up  at  Klang,  in  Selangor,  (2)  in 
a  little  bronze  image  suggestive  of  a  Buddha 
that  was  discovered  in  a  Tanjong  Rambutan 
mine  at  a  depth  of  some  60  feet  below  the 
surface,  (3)  in  an  old  Bernam  tomb  beautifully 
constructed  of  thin  slabs  of   stone  and   con- 

■  .!iM,-<in.T(J'.°' 







/  !" 

^'"r-r'  ^nW  U  ::v3 

Who  were  the  men  who  left  these  remains  ? 
If  it  is  true  (as  the  condition  of  the  Selinsing 
workings  seems  to  suggest)  that  the  mines  were 
suddenly  abandoned  in  the  very  midst  of  the 
work  that  was  being  done,  such  a  fact  would 
lend  further  support  to  the  natural  conjecture 
that  the  miners  were  only  foreign  adventurers 
who  exploited  the  wealth  of  the  peninsula  and 
did  not  make  the  country  their  permanent 
home.  The  Malays  say  that  these  alien  miners 
were  "  men  of  Siam."  Is  this  true  ?  Students 
are  apt  to  forget  that  "men  of  Siam" — seven 
or  eight  centuries  ago — would  refer  to  the 
great  and  highly-civilised  Cambodian  race  who 
occupied  the  valley  of  the  Menam  before  the 
coming  of  the  "  Thai,"  from  whom  the  present 
Siamese  are  descended.  It  is  therefore  pro- 
bable enough  that  the  Malays  are  right,  and 
that  the  mining  shafts  of  Selinsing  are  due  to 
the  people  who  built  the  magnificent  temples 
of  Angkor.  Further  evidence — if  such  evidence 
is  needed — may  be  found  in  the  fact  that  the 
Sakai  of  certain  parts  of  Pahang  use  numerals 
that  are  neither  Siamese  nor  Malay  nor  true 
Sakai,  but  non-Khmer. 

The  general  conclusion  that  one  is  forced  to 
draw  from  the  traces  of  ancient  culture  in  the 
peninsula  is  that  the  southern  portions  of. the 
country  were  often  visited,  but  never  actually 
occupied  by  any  civilised  race  until  the  Malays 
came  in  a.d.  1400.  Such  a  conclusion  would 
not,  however,  be  true  of  the  Northern  States — 
of  Kedah,  Kelantan,  Trang,  and  Singgora. 
There  we  find  undoubted  evidence  of  the 
existence  of  powerful  Buddhist  States  like  that 
of  Langkasuka,  the  kingdom  of  alang-kah  suka 
or  of  the  Golden  Age  of  Kedah,  still  re- 
membered as  a  fairyland  of  Malay  romance. 
This  Langkasuka  was  a  very  ancient  State 
indeed.  It  is  mentioned  in  Chinese  records  as 
Langgasu  as  far  back  as  500  a.d.,  and  was  then 
reputed  to  be  four  centuries  old  ;  it  appears  (in 
Javanese  literature)  as  one  of  the  kingdoms 
overcome  by  Majapahit  in  a.d.  1377  ;  its  name 
probably  survives  to  this  day  in  the  "  Langkawi" 
islands  off  the  Kedah  coast.  But  the  ancient 
States  of  Northern  Malaya  lie  outside  the 
scope  of  this  essay.  They  are  interesting 
because  they  probably  sent  small  mining 
colonies  to  the  south,  and  thus  claimed  some 
sort  of  dominion  over  the  rest  of  the  peninsula. 
The  great  Siamese  invasion  changed  all  that. 
By  crushing  the  Northern  States  during  the 
thirteenth,  fourteenth,  and  fifteenth  centuries 
A.D.,  it  ruined  their  little  southern  colonies,  and 
left  the  territories  of  Perak,  Johore,  Malacca, 
and  Pahang  a  mere  no-man's-land  that  the 
Malays  from  Sumatra  could  easily  occupy. 


(See  p.  77.) 


The  Coming  of  the  Malays. 

have  converted  the  first  line  of  the  inscriptions 
into  the  well-known  formula,  "  In  the  name  of 
God,  the  Merciful,  the  Compassionate."  Frag- 
ments of  other  monuments  may  be  seen  lying 
low  in  the  swamp  near  which  this  Linggi 
kramat  is  built  up. 

Besides  these  inscriptions,  traces  of  ancient 
non-Malayan  civilisations  have  been  found  (i)  in 

taining  some  broken  pottery  and  three  cornelian 
beads,  and  (4)  in  pottery  and  iron  mining  tools 
that  are  continually  being  met  with  in  old 
mining  workings.  More  impressive,  however, 
than  any  of  these  small  relics  are  the  galleries, 
slopes,  and  shafts  of  the  old  mines  at  Selinsing, 
in  Pahang — the  work  of  a  race  that  must  have 
possessed  no  small  degree  of  mechanical  skill. 

According  to  a  tradition  that  is  accepted  in 
almost  every  portion  of  Malaya,  the  founder 
of  the  most  famous  native  dynasties  was  a 
Prince  named  Sang  Sapurba,  son  of  Raja 
Suran,  the  "  Ruler  of  the  East  and  of  the 
West,"  by  his  marriage  with  a  mermaid,  the 
daughter  of  the  kings  of  the  sea.  This  Prince 
first  revealed  himself  upon  the  hill  of  Sigun- 



tang,  near  Mount  Mahameru,  in  the  hinterland 
of  Palembang.  Two  young  girls  who  dwelt 
upon  the  hill  are  said  to  have  seen  a  great 
light  shining  through  the  darkness  of  night. 
On   ascending  the   hill  in  the  morning  they 


'SWOKD    OF    THE    SAINT. 
(See  p.  76.) 

found  that  their  rice-crops  had  been  trans- 
formed— the  grain  into  gold,  the  leaves  into 
silver,  the  stalks  into  golden  brass.  Proceeding 
further,  they  came  across  three  young  men,  the 
eldest  of  whom  was  mounted  on  a  silver-white 
bull  and  was  dressed  as  a  king,  while  the  two 
younger,  his  brothers,  bore  the  sword  and 
spear  that  indicated  sovereign  power.  "  Who, 
then,  are  you — spirits  or  fairies?"  said  the 
astonished  girls.  "  Neither  spirits  nor  fairies, 
but  men,"  said  one  of  the  brothers  ;  "  we  are 
Princes  of  the  race  of  the  Great  Alexander;  we 
have  his  seal,  his  sword,  and  his  spear ; 
we  seek  his  inheritance  on  earth."  "  And 
what  proof  have  you  of  this  ?  "  said  tbe  girls. 
"  Let  the  crown  I  wear  bear  me  witness  if 
necessary,"  replied  the  eldest  Prince  ;  "but 
what  of  that  ?  Is  it  for  naught  that  my  coming 
has  been  marked  by  this  crop  of  golden 
grain  ? "  Then  out  of  the  mouth  of  the  bull 
there  issued  a  sweet-voiced  herald,  who  at 
once  proclaimed  the  Prince  to  be  a  king 
bearing  the  title  of  Sang  Sapurba  Trimurti 
Tribuana.  The  newly  -  installed  sovereign 
afterwards  descended  from  the  hill  of  Sigun- 
tang  into  the  great  plain  watered  by  the 
Palembang  river,  where  he  married  the 
daughter  of  the  local  chief,  Demang  Lebar 
Daun,  and  was  everywhere  accepted  as  ruler 
of  the  country.     At  a  later  date  he  is  said  to 

have  crossed  the  great  central  range  of  Sumatra 
into  the  mountains  of  Menangkabau,  where  he 
slew  the  great  dragon  Si-Katimuna,  and  was 
made  the  king  of  a  grateful  people  and  the 
founder  of  the  long  line  of  Princes  of  Menang- 
kabau, the  noblest  dynasty  of  Malaya.  Mean- 
while, however,  his  relatives  in  Palembang 
had  crossed  the  sea,  first  to  the  island  of 
Bintang  and  afterwards  from  Bintang  to  the 
island  of  Tamasak,  on  which  they  founded  the 
city  of  Singapore.  "  And  the  city  of  Singapore 
became  mighty  ;  and  its  fame  filled  all  the 
earth."  Such,  at  least,  is  the  story  that  is  told 
us  in  the  "Malay  Annals." 

It  is  very  easy  to  criticise  this  story — to 
point  out  that  the  tale  of  the  Macedonian  origin 
of  Malay  kings  is  too  absurd  for  acceptance, 
and  that  the  miraculous  incidents  do  not 
commend  themselves  to  the  sceptical  historians 
of  the  present  day.  It  is  also  possible  to  show 
that  there  are  actuall}-  two  entirely  different 
versions  of  the  story  in  the  manuscripts  of  the 
"  Malay  Annals,"  and  that  both  these  versions 
differ  from  a  third  version  given  by  the 
annalist  himself  to  his  contemporary,  the  author 
of  the  Malay  book  known  as  the  "  Bustanu's 
salatin."  Xo  one  need  treat  this  legend  of 
Sang  Sapurba  as  actual  history.  But  the 
ancient  kingdoms  of  Singapore  and  Palembang 
are  no  myth  ;  the  latter,  at  least,  must  have 
played  a  great  part  in  history.  Nor  is  the 
legend  in  any  way  an  invention  of  the  author 
of  the  "  Malay  Annals  "  ;  it  occurs  in  still  earlier 
books,  and  is  folklore  throughout  Perak  at  the 
present  day.  The  Sultan  of  Perak  claims 
direct  descent  from  Sang  Sapurba  ;  one  of  his 
chiefs,  the  Dato'  Sri  Nara  Diraja,  is  the  lineal 
representative  of  the  herald  who  came  out  of 
the  mouth  of  the  bull.  As  late  as  February, 
1907,  the  Raja  Bendahara  was  installed  (in  the 
High  Commissioner's  presence)  by  the  Dato' 
Sri  Nara  Diraja  reciting  over  him  the  mystic 
words — in  a  forgotten  tongue — that  the  latter 
chief's  ancestor  is  said  to  have  used  at  the 
proclamation  of  Sang  Sapurba  himself.  The 
origin  of  these  ancient  legends  and  old-world 
ceremonies  is  lost  in  the  dimness  of  past 
centuries,  but  it  may,  to  some  extent,  be 
explained  by  the  light  that  Chinese  records 
throw  upon  Malay  history. 

We  know  with  absolute  certainty  from  the 
accounts  of  Chinese  trade  with  Sumatra  that 
the  kingdom  of  Palembang  was  a  powerful 
State  certainly  as  far  back  as  the  year  goo  a.d., 
perhaps  even  as  far  back  as  the  year  450  a.d. 
We  even  possess  the  names  (often  mutilated 
beyond  recognition  by  Chinese  transcribers)  of 
a  large  number  of  the  old  Kings  of  Palembang. 
We  can  see  that  these  ancient  rulers  bore 
high-sounding  Sanskrit  titles,  almost  invari- 
ably beginning  with  the  royal  honorific  sri 
that  is  still  used  by  great  Malay  dignitaries. 
But  while  the  Malay  annalist  allows  a  single 
generation  to  cover  tire  whole  period  from  the 
founding  of  the  State  of  Palembang  by  Sang 
Sapurba  down  to  the  establishment  of  the  city 
of  Singapore,  we  are  in  a  position  to  see  that 
the  period  in  question  must  have  covered 
many  centuries,  and  that  even  a  millennium 
may  have  elapsed  between  the  days  of  the 
founder  of  Palembang  and  those  of  the 
coloniser  of  Tamasak  or  Singapore.  Although 
Sang  Sapurba  may  be  nothing  more  than  a 

name,  the  ancient  legend  is  historical  in  so  far 
that  there  must  have  been  a  time  when  an 
Indian  or  Javanese  dynasty  with  a  very  high 
conception  of  kingly  power  supplanted  the 
unambitious  Palembang  headmen,  who  bore 
homely  titles  like  Demang  Lebar  Daun,  and 
claimed  no  social  superiority  over  their  fellow- 
villagers.  The  story  given  us  in  the  "  Malay 
Annals  "  is  only  an  idealised  version  of  what 
must  have  really  occurred.  The  most  mys- 
terious feature  in  the  legend  is  the  reference 
to  Mount  Siguntang.  Although  this  famous 
hill  (which  is  believed  by  all  Malays  to  be  the 
cradle  of  their  race)  is  located  with  curious 
definiteness  on  the  slopes  of  the  great  volcano. 
Mount  Dempo,  in  the  hinterland  of  Palembang, 
there  is  no  local  tradition  to  guide  us  to  the 
exact  spot  or  to  suggest  to  us  why  that  locality, 
above  all  others,  should  be  singled  out  for 
special  honour.  The  culture  of  the  Malay 
States  that  accepted  the  Hinduised  Palembang 
tradition  differs  completely  from  that  of  the 
primitive  Sumatran  communities  who  have 
not  been  affected  by  foreign  influence.     Such 

(See  p.  77.) 

differences  could  not  have  been  brought  about 
in  any  brief  period  of  time.  The  history  of  the 
State  of  Palembang  must  go  back  extremely 
far  into    the    past ;    and,    if    only  we    could 



unearth  some  real  records,  they  might  explain 
why  the  proud  rulers  of  the  country  thought  it 
an  honour  to  claim  descent  from  some  still 
more  ancient  dynasty  associated  with  the  name 
of  a  hill  district  from  which  all  traces  of 
imperial  power  have  long  since  passed  away. 

In  the  reign  of  the  Chinese  Emperor  Hsiau 
Wu  (a.d.  454-464),  a  kingdom  of  "Kandali" 
sent  articles  of  gold  and  silver  to  China.  In 
A.D.  502  a  king  of-  this  same  Kandali  sent  an 
envoy  to  China  with  other  valuable  gifts. 
In  A.D.  519,  and  again  in  A.D.  520,  similar 
missions  were  sent.  After  this  date  "  Kandali" 
disappears  from  history.  Although  Chinese 
records  positively  identify  this  country  with 
San-bo-tsai  or  Palembang,  all  that  contem- 
porary Chinese  notices  tell  us  about  Kandali 
is  that  it  was  a  Buddhist  kingdom  on  an  island 
in  the  Southern  Sea,  that  its  customs  were 
those  of  Cambodia  and  Siam,  that  it  produced 
flowered  cloth,  cotton,  and  excellent  areca-nuts, 
and  that  its  kings  sent  letters  to  the  Chinese 
Emperor  congratulating  him  on  his  fervent 
faith  in  Buddhism.  Still,  as  one  of  these 
kings  is  reported  to  have  compared  the 
Chinese  Emperor  to  a  mountain  covered  with 
snow,  we  may  take  it  that  the  accuracy  of  even 
this  meagre  account  of  Kandali  is  not  above 
suspicion.  We  can  perhaps  see  traces  of 
Javanese  influence  in  the  reference  to  "  flowered 
cloth,"  as  the  words  suggest  the  painted  floral 
designs  of  Java  rather  than  the  woven  plaid- 
patterns  of  the  Malays. 

In  A.D.  905  Palembang  reappears  in  Chinese 
records  under  the   name   of   San-bo-tsai.     In 



(See- p.  78.) 

that  year  the  ruler  of  San-bo-tsai  "  sent  tribute" 
to  China  and  received  from  the  Emperor  the 
proud  title  of  "the  General  who  pacifies  Distant 
Countries."     In  A.D.  960  "tribute"  was  again 

sent — twice.  In  a.d.  962  the  same  thing  oc- 
curred. From  A.D.  962  onwards  we  have  a 
continuous  record  of  similar  tribute-bearing 
missions  until  the  year  1178,  when  the  Chinese 
Emperor  found  that  this  tribute  was  too  expen- 
sive a  luxury  to  be  kept  up,  so  he  "  issued  an 
edict  that  they  should  not  come  to  court  any 
more,  but  make  an  establishment  in  the  Fukien 
province."  After  this  date  the  Palembang 
merchants  ceased  to  be  tribute-bearers  and 
became  ordinary  traders  —  a  change  which 
caused  them  to  temporarily  disappear  from 
official  records.  "  Tribute "  was,  of  course, 
merely  a  gift  made  to  the  Emperor  in  order 
to  secure  his  permission  to  trade  ;  it  flattered 
his  pride,  and  was  invariably  returned  to  the 
giver  in  the  form  of  titles  and  presents  of  very 
high  value.  So  much  was  this  the  case  that 
Chinese  statesmen,  when  economically  in- 
clined, were  in  the  habit  of  protesting  against 
the  extravagance  of  accepting  tribute.  None 
the  less  the  Emperor  encouraged  these  men  of 
Palembang,  for  in  A.D.  1156  he  declared  that 
"  when  distant  people  feel  themselves  attracted 
by  our  civilising  influence  their  discernment 
must  be  praised."  One  Malay  envoy  received 
the  title  of  "  the  General  who  is  attracted  by 
Virtue,"  a  second  was  called  "the  General  who 
cherishes  Civilising  Influence,"  a  third  was 
named  "  the  General  who  supports  Obedience 
and  cherishes  Renovation."  The  manners  of 
the  men  of  San-bo-tsai  must  have  been  as 
ingratiating  as  those  of  their  successors,  the 
Malays  of  the  present  day. 

The  Kings  of  San-bo-tsai  are  .said  to  have 
used  the  Sanskrit  character  in  their  writings 
and  to  have  sealed  documents  with  their  signets 
instead  of  signing  them  with  their  names. 
One  king  is  mentioned  (A.D.  1017)  as  having 
sent  among  his  presents  "  Sanskrit  books  folded 
between  boards."  Their  capital  was  a  fortified 
city  with  a  wall  of  piled  bricks  several  miles  in 
circumference,  but  the  people  are  said  to  have 
lived  in  scattered  villages  outside  the  town  and 
to  have  been  e.xempt  from  direct  taxation.  In 
case  of  war  "  they  at  once  select  a  chief  to  lead 
them,  every  man  providing  his  own  arms  and 
provisions."  From  these  Chinese  records  we 
also  learn  that  in  A.D.  1003  the  Emperor  sent  a 
gift  of  bells  to  a  Buddhist  temple  in  San-bo-tsai. 
As  regards  trade,  the  country  is  recorded  as 
producing  rattans,  lignum-aloes,  areca-nuts, 
coconuts,  rice,  poultry,  ivory,  rhinoceros  horns, 
camphor,  and  cotton-cloth.  In  the  matter  of 
luxuries  we  are  told  that  the  people  made  in- 
toxicating drinks  out  of  coconut,  areca-nut,  and 
honey,  that  they  used  musical  instruments  (a 
small  guitar  and  small  drums),  and  that  they 
possessed  imported  slaves  who  made  music  for 
them  by  stamping  on  the  ground  and  singing. 
In  A.D.  992  we  hear  of  a  war  between  the 
Javanese  and  the  people  of  Palembang.  It 
seems,  therefore,  quite  certain  that  Palembang 
— between  the  years  900  and  1360  a.d. — was  a 
country  of  considerable  civilisation  and  import- 
ance, owing  its  culture  to  Indian  sources  and 
perhaps  possessing  very  close  affinities  to  the 
powerful  States  of  Java.  What,  then,  were  the 
events  that  brought  about  the  downfall  of  this 
great  Malayan  kingdom  ? 

The  close  of  the  thirteenth  century  in  China 
saw  the  Mongol  invasion  that  ended  in  making 
Kublai  Khan  the  undisputed  overlord  of  the 

whole  country.  That  restless  conqueror  was 
not,  however,  satisfied  with  his  continental 
dominions  ;  he  fitted  out  great  fleets  to  extend 
his  power  over   the  Japanese  islands  in   the 

(See  p.  ;8.) 

north  and  over  the  island  of  Java  in  the  south. 
He  began  a  period  of  war,  during  which  we 
hear  nothing  of  the  trade  with  the  States  in  the 
Southern  Seas. 

The  advent  of  the  Ming  dynasty  (a.d.  1368) 
commenced  a  new  era  of  peace  and  commerce, 
in  which  we  again  find  mention  of  the  State  of 
Palembang.  Great  changes  had,  however, 
taken  place  since  the  last  reference  to  the 
country  in  a.d.  1178.  San-bo-tsai  had  been 
split  up  into  three  States.  We  hear  (a.d.  1373) 
of  a  King  Tan  ma-sa-na-ho  —  probably  the 
King  of  Tamasak  or  Singapore.  We  hear  also 
(a.d.  1374)  of  a  King  Ma-na-ha-pau-lin-pang 
— probably  the  King  of  Palembang.  The 
King  Tan-ma-sa-na-ho  died  in  a.d.  1376,  and 
.his  successor,  Ma~la-cha  Wu-li,  ordered  the 
usual  eirvoys  to  go  to  China,  and  was  sent  in 
return  a  seal  and  commission  as  King  of  San- 
bo-tsai.     The  Chinese  annalist  goes  on  to  say  : 

''  At  that  time,  however,  San-bo-tsai  had 
already  been  conquered  by  Java,  and  the 
King  of  this  country,  hearing  that  the  Emperor 
had  appointed  a  king  over  San-bo-tsai,  became 
very  angry  and  sent  men  who  waylaid  and 
killed  the  Imperial  envoys.  The  Enjperor  did 
not  think  it  right  to  punish  him  on  this 
account.  After  this  occurrence  San-bo-tsai 
became  gradually  poorer,  and  no  tribute  was 
brought  from  this  country  any  more." 

Chinese,  Malay,  and  Javanese  historical 
records  all  agree  in  referring  to  a  great  war 



of  conquest  carried  on  by  the  Javanese  Empire 
of  Majapahit  and  ending  in  the  destruction  of 
Singapore  and  Palembang,  as  well  as  in  the 
temporary  subjugation  of  many  other  Malay 
States,  such  as  Pasai,  Samudra,  and  even 
Kedah,  Kelantan,  Trengganu,  and  Pahang. 
The  Chinese  records  enable  us  to  definitely 
fix  the  date— A.D.  1377.  It  is  a  great  landmark 
in  Malay  history,  for  the  fugitives  driven  by  the 
Javanese  from  Palembang  and  Singapore  settled 
down  in  the  peninsula  and  founded  the  famous 
city  of  Malacca. 

We  come  now  to  the  founding  of  Singapore, 
which,  although  dealt  with  in  our  opening 
section,  may  be  referred  to  at  greater  length 
in  this  survey  of  Malay  history.  The  name  of 
Singapiira  was  only  an  honorific  title  given 
to  an  island  that  was  known  and  continued  to 
be  known  as  Tamasak.  Of  the  existence  of 
this  old  Malay  State  of  Singapore  or  Tamasak 
there  can  be  no  doubt  whatever,  as  Chinese, 
Siamese,  Malay,  and  Javanese  records  agree 
upon  the  point.  Of  the  fact  that  Singapore 
was  a  colony  from  Palembang  there  can  also 
be  no  doubt,  since  both  the  Chinese  and  the 
Malay  records  bear  out  this  version  of  the 
origin  of  the  city.  An  inscription  in  the  Kawi 
character  was  found  by  Raffles  at  Singapore, 
but  it  was  blown  up  at  a  later  date  by  a  dis- 
creditable act  of  vandalism,  and  from  the 
fragments  left  it  is  impossible  to  say  definitely 
whether  it  was  carved  by  the  Palembang 
colonists  or  by  the  Javanese  conquerors  who 
destroyed  the  city  in  A.D.  1377.  The  "Malay 
Annals"  tell  us  a  good  deal  about  the  place, 
but  tell  us  nothing  that  is  really  reliable.  They 
say  that  Sang  Nila  Utama,  the  founder  of  the 
State,  was  driven  to  the  island  by  a  storm  of 
wind,  in  the  course  of  which  he  lost  his  royal 
crown — a  story  suggesting  that  the  founder 
was  not  a  reigning  prince  when  he  came  to 
settle  in  the  island,  and  that  his  followers  had 
to  invent  a  story  to  explain  away  his  lack  of 
the  usual  insignia  of  royalty.  He  was,  how- 
ever, probably  of  r05'al  blood,  since  the  Chinese 
envoys  were  afterwards  willing  to  recognise 
his  descendants  as  rulers  of  Palembang.  The 
"  Annals  "  also  tell  us  that  five  kings  reigned  in 
Singapore,  as  shown  in  the  following  table  : 

If  this  pedigree  is  to  be  accepted,  the  old 
State  of  Singapore  must  have  lasted  for  several 
generations,  but  the  annalist  who  drew  it  up 
gave  another  pedigree  to  his  friend,  Xuru'ddin 
Raniri  al-Hasanji,  the  author  of  the  "  Bustanu's 
salatin."     The  other  pedigree  is  as  follows  : 

ends  with  the  ominous  words  that  the  blood 
of  the  boy  who  saved  the  city  from  the  sword- 
fish,  and  was  put  to  death  lest  his  cleverness 
should  prove  a  public  danger,  rested  upon  the 
island  as  a  .curse  to  be  wiped  out  in  days  to 
come.    The  story  of  Tun  Jana  Khatib  is  the 

Raja  Shkan 
(King  of  the  East  and  West) 


Sang  Sapurba 
(King  of  Menangkabau) 

Sang  Baniaka 
(King  of  Tanjong  Pura) 

Sang  Nila  Utama 
(First  King  of  Singapore) 



Raja  Kechil  Besar 

(Paduka  Sri  PSkSrma  diraja, 

second  King  of  Singapore) 


Sri  Rana  Adikarma 

(Iskandar  Shah,  third  King  of 

Singapore  and  first  of  Malacca) 

Sultan  Ahmad  Shah 
(Second  Sultan  of  Malacca) 

Raja  Kechil  Muda 

This  second  pedigree  gives  a  much  shorter 
life  to  the  old  State  of  Singapore,  and  (since  it 
came  from  the  same  source  as  the  other 
pedigree)  shows  that  neither  account  can  be 
considered  altogether  reliable.  It  also  suggests 
its  own  inaccuracy,  since  "  Iskandar  Shah  "  is 
not  a  name  that  any  non-Mahomedan  prince 
of  Singapore  would  have  borne  at  that  period. 
The  probability  is  that  the  ancient  kingdom  of 
Tamasak  was  a  mere  off-shoot  of  the  State 
of  Palembang,  that  it  did  not  last  for  any 
length  of  time,  and  that  it  came  to  a  sudden 
and  terrible  end  in  the  year  of  the  great 
Javanese  invasion,  a.d.  1377. 

The  account  of  Singapore  in  the  "  Malay 
Annals  "  is  entirely  mythical — from  the  open- 
ing tale  about  the  lion  that  Sang  Nila  Utama 
discovered  on  the  island  down  to  the  conclud- 
ing stories  about  the  attack  made  by  the 
sword-fish  upon  the  city,  and  about  the  fate  of 
Sang  Ranjuna  Tapa,  the  traitor  who  betrayed 
the  city  to  the  Javanese  and  was  turned  into 
stone  as  a  punishment  for  his  sin.  Yet  in  all 
this  mythical  account  there  is  a  suggestion  of 
infinite  tragedy.     The  story  of  the  sword-fish 

Raja  Suran 
(King  of  the  East  and  of  the  West) 

Sang  Sapurba 
(King  of  Menangkabau) 

Nila  Pahlawan 

Kisna  Pandita 

Sang  Maniaka 

Sang  Nila  Utama 
(First  King  of  Singapore) 


Raja  Kechil  Besar 
(Peduka  Sri  Pikrama  Wira, 
second  King  of  Singapore) 


Raja  Muda 

(Sri  Rama  Wirakrama, 

third  King  of  Singapore) 


Paduka  Sri  Maharaja 

(Fourth  King  of  Singapore) 

Raja  Iskandar  Dzu'l-karnain 

(Fifth  and  last  King  of  Singapore 

and  first  Sultan  of  Malacca) 


Raja  Kechil  Muda 

(Tun  Parapalih  Parmuka 


Tun  Parapatih  Tulus 

tale  of  another  awful  deed  of  wrong.  The  last 
tale  in  the  narrative  is  that  of  the  injury  which 
maddened  Sang  Ranjuna  Tapa  into  treason — 
the  cruel  fate  of  his  daughter,  who  was  publicly 
impaled  on  a  mere  suspicion  of  infidelity  to  her 
lover,  the  King.  More  than  once  does  the 
annalist  seem  to  suggest  the  Nemesis  that 
waits  upon  deeds  of  oppression.  In  the  end 
the  Javanese  came  ;  the  city  was  betrayed  ; 
"blood  flowed  like  water  in  full  inundation, 
and  the  plain  of  Singapore  is  red  as  with  blood 
to  this  day."  A  curse  rented  on  the  place.  In 
A.D.  i8ig,  more  than  four  centuries  later. 
Colonel  Farquhar  found  that  not  one  of  the 
people  of  the  settlement  dared  ascend  Fort 
Canning  Hill,  the  "forbidden  hill"  that  was 
haunted  by  the  ghosts  of  long-forgotten  kings 
and  queens.  The  alien  Chinese  who  now 
inhabit  the  town  believe  to  this  day  that — for 
some  reason  unknown  to  them — a  curse  laid 
on  the  island  in  times  long  past  makes  it 
impossible  to  grow  rice  on  it,  rice  being  the 
staple  food  of  the  Malays.  .All  these  legends 
seem  to  suggest  that  the  fate  of  the  ancient 
city  must  have  been  one  of  appalling  horror. 
Many  Malay  towns  have  at  different  times 
been  captured,  many  were  doubtless  captured 
by  the  Javanese  in  that  very  war  of  A.D.  1377, 
but  in  no  other  case  has  the  fall  of  a  city  left 
such  awful  memories  as  to  cause  men  four 
Centuries  later  to  refuse  to  face  the  angry 
spectres  that  were  believed  to  haunt  so  cruelly 
stricken  a  site. 

The  fall  of  Singapore  led  to  the  rise  of 
Malacca.  A  number  of  fugitives,  headed  (if  the 
"Annals"  are  to  be  believed)  by  their  king 
himself,  established  themselves  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Malacca  river,  and  founded  a  city  that 
was  destined  to  play  a  much  greater  part  in 
history  than  the  old  unhappy  settlement  of 
Singapore  itself.  The  "Annals,"  however,  are 
not  a  safe  guide.  Although  it  is  indeed  prob- 
able that  a  party  of  refugees  did  do  something 
to  found  the  town  of  Malacca,  it  is  extremely 
doubtful  whether  they  were  headed  by  the 
fugitive  "  Iskandar  Shah."  Be  the  facts  as 
they  may,  the  new  town  did  not  delay  its  rise 
very  long.  In  A.D.  1403,  as  Chinese  records 
tell  us,  the  ruler  or  "Paramisura"  of  Malacca 

D  *  * 



sent  envoys  to  China  ;  in  a.d.  1405  he  was 
recognised  as  King  and  received  a  seal,  a  suit 
of  silk  clothes,  and  a  5'ello\v  umbrella  from  the 
Emperor  ;  in  a.d.  141  i  he  travelled  himself  to 

gave  us  a  real  key  to  the  chronology  of  the 
period.  From  these  records  it  is  quite  clear 
that  Singapore  fell  in  a.d.  1377,  and  not  in 
A.D.    1252,   as    the    "  Malay    Annals "     would 

to  be  identical  with  Xaquendarsa,  and  to  have 
come  to  the  throne  in  a.d.  1414,  it  will  be  fairly 
obvious  that  the  Malay  version  allows  too 
many  generations  between  him  and  Mudzafar 


China  and  was  most  hospitably  entertained. 
In  the  year  1414  the  son  of  this  Paramisura 
came  to  China  to  report  his  father's  death,  and 
to  apply  for  recognition  as  his  father's  successor. 
This  son's  name  is  given  in  Chinese  records  as 
Mu-Kan-Sa-U-Tir-Sha.  He  died  about  the  year 
1424,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  who  is 
described  in  Chinese  as  Sri  Mahala. 

At  this  point  it  is  advisable  to  say  something 
about  Malay  chronology.  The  dates  given  in 
Sir  Frank  Swettenham's  "  British  Malaya," 
in  the  "  Colonial  Office  List,"  in  Valentyn's 
"  History  of  Malacca,"  and  in  many  other 
works,  are  all  obtained  from  the  "  Malay 
Annals  "  by  the  simple  process  of  adding  to- 
gether the  reputed  lengths  of  the  reigns  of  the 
various  kings.  Such  a  system  is  usually  unreli- 
able. In  the  case  of  the  "  Malay  Annals  "  the 
unreliability  of  the  method  can  be  proved  by 
taking  the  history  of  ministers  who  served 
under  several  kings,  and  must  have  attained  to 
impossible  ages  if  the  reign  lengths  are  really 
accurate.  The  point  was  brought  out  clearly 
for  the  first  time  by  Mr.  C.  O.  Blagden  in  a 
paper  read  before  an  Oriental  Congress  in 
Paris.  Mr.  Blagden  began  by  showing  that 
the  Malay  dates  were  inaccurate,  and  then 
went  on  to  prove  that  the  Chinese  records, 
though  meagre  and  unreliable  in  many  details. 

suggest.  From  the  same  source  it  may  be 
shown  that  the  various  kings  of  Malacca 
reigned  between  the  year  1400  and  the  year 
1511.  But  we  are  not  in  a  position  to  prove 
conclusively  who  all  these  kings  were.  The 
royal  names,  as  given  to  us  by  different  authori- 
ties, are  here  shown  in  parallel  columns  : 

Shah,  who   seems  to  have  been   reigning  in 
A.D.  1445. 

It  is  quite  impossible  to  reconcile  the  lists  ; 
but  some  facts  may  be  inferred  from  what  we 
know  for  certain.  A  Chinese  work,  the  "  Ying 
Yai  Sheng  Lan,"  dated  a.d.  1416,  speaks  of  the 
Malacca  Malays  as  devoted  Mahomedans,  so 

Chinese  Records. 
Palisura  (1403-14) 
Mukansautirsha  (1414-24) 
Sri  Mahala  (1424) 
Sri  Mahala  (1433) 

Sri  Pamisiwartiupasha  (1445) 

Sultan  Wutafunasha  (1456) 
Sultan  'Wangsusha  (1459) 
Mahamusa  (undated) 
Sultan    Mamat    ("  who    fled 
from    the  Franks") 

Albuquerque' s  List. 





The  great  names  of  Malacca  history  are 
common  to  all  three  lists,  but  the  minor  names 
differ  considerably.  Those  in  the  "  Malay 
Annals  "  would  naturally  have  been  considered 
the  most  reliable,  were  it  not  that  Mahomedan 
names  like  Iskandar  Shah  occurring  before  the 
Mahomedan  period  suggest  the  certainty  of 
serious  error.     If  also  we  take  Iskandar  Shah 

Malay  Annals. 

Iskandar  Shah 
Raja  B^sar  Muda 
Raja  Tfngah 
Muhammad  Shah 
Abu  Shahid 
Mudzafar  Shah 
Mansur  Shah 
Alaedin  Riayat  Shah 

Mahmud  Shah 

that  it  would  seem  that  the  conversion  to  Islam 
took  place  as  early  as  the  reign  of  the  Para- 
misura, and  not  in  the  time  of  his  grandson  or 
great-grandson,  Muhammad  Shah.  But  the 
explanation  that  seems  to  clear  up  the  difficul- 
ties most  readily  is  the  probability  that  the 
author  of  the  pedigree  in  the  "  Malay  Annals  " 
confused  the  two  Princes  who  bore  the  name 



of  Raja  Kfchil  Besar,  and  also  confused  Sultan 
Ahmad  with  Sultan  Muhammad.  If  the  title 
Muhammad  Shah  and  the  conversion  to  Islam 


are  ascribed  to  the  first  Rajah  Kechil  Besar 
instead  of  to  the  second,  the  difficulty  of 
explaining  the  Mahomedan  names  of  Iskandar 
Shah  and  Ahmad  Shah  disappears  at  once,  and 
the  pedigree  is  shortened  to  a  reasonable 
length.  The  amended  version  would  read  as 
follows  : 

Kaja  Kechil  Besar 

(Paramisura,  Sultan  Muhammad  Shah) 

Iskandar  Shah 

Raja  Besar  Muda 

(Ahmad  Shah) 

Raja  Kasim 

(Mudzafar  Shah) 

Raja  Abdullah 

(Mansur  Shah) 

Raja  Husain 

(Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  I.) 

Raja  Mahmud 
(Sultan  Mahmud  Shah). 

We  can  now  pass  to  the  reigns  of  these 
different  kings. 

The  Chinese  account  of  Malacca,  written  in 
A.D.  1416,  gives  us  a  very  convincing  picture  of 
the  settlement.  It  tells  us  that  the  inhabitants 
paid  very  little  attention  to  agriculture,   that 

they  were  good  fishermen,  that  they  used  dug- 
outs, that  they  possessed  a  currency  of  block 
tin,  that  they  lived  in  very  simple  huts  raised 
some  four  feet  above  the  ground,  that  they 
traded  in  resins,  tin,  and  jungle  produce,  that 
they  made  very  good  mats,  and  that  "  their 
language,  their  books,  and  their  marriage 
ceremonies  are  nearly  the  same  as  those  of 
Java."  The  town  of  Malacca  was  surrounded 
by  a  wall  with  four  gates,  and  within  this 
fortified  area  there  was  a  second  wall  or 
stockade  surrounding  a  store  for  money  and 

This  description  bears  out  Albuquerque's 
statement  that  the  town  was  created  by  the 
fusion  of  fugitives  from  Singapore  with  a  local 
population  of  "  Cellates  "  or  Orang  Laut,  The 
men  from  Singapore  brought  their  old  Indo- 
Javanese  civilisation,  the  language,  the  books, 
and  the  marriage  ceremonies  that  were  so 
closely  akin  to  those  of  Java  ;  the  Orang  Laut 
were  simply  fishermen,  living  by  the  sea  and 
using  the  rude  dug-outs  that  impressed  the 
Chinese  historian.  But  there  was  a  third 
element.  The  Chinese  account  tells  us  that 
the  tin  industry,  both  in  trade  and  actual 
mining,  was  important.  As  this  industry 
would  be  quite  unknown  to  the  Orang  Laut 
and  could  hardly  have  been  introduced  from 
Singapore,  we  are  left  to  infer  that  traders  in 
tin  had  visited  the  country  long  before  the 
advent  of  the  Malays,  and  had  taught  the 
aborigines  the  value  of  the  metal  and  the 
proper  means  of  procuring  it.  These  early 
traders  were,  in  all  probability,  the  Cambodian 
colonists  whose  homes  in  the  north  had  just 
been  conquered  by  the  Siamese,  but  who — up 
to  the  fourteenth  century — appear  to  have 
exercised  some  sort  of  dominion  over  the 
southern  half  of  the  peninsula. 

According  to  both  Chinese  and  Portuguese 
records  the  first  ruler  of  Malacca  was  a  certain 
"  Palisura  "  or  "Paramisura";  but,  unfortu- 
nately, this  word  only  means  king,  and  conse- 
quently gives  us  no  clue  either  to  the  Hindu 
or  to  the  Mahomedan  name  of  the  prince  in 
question.  It  would  seem  waste  of  time  to 
discuss  points  relating  to  mere  names  were 
it  not  that  these  issues  help  us  to  unravel  the 
complex  chronology  of  the  period.  Evei"y 
king — at  this  time  of  conversion — must  have 
had  a  Hindu  title  before  taking  an  Arabic  name, 
so  that  serious  errors  may  have  been  imported 
into  genealogies  by  kings  being  counted  twice 
over.  Omitting  the  mythical  elements,  let  us 
collate  the  first  names  of  the  four  lists  that  we 
possess  : 

Malay  Annals. 

(1)  Raja  Kechil  Bgsar, 
Paduka  Sri  Pekerma  Wiraja. 

(2)  Raja  Muda, 

Sri  Rana  Wikrama. 

(3)  Paduka  Sri  Maharaja. 

Bustanu's  salatin. 

(1)  Raja  Kechil  Besar, 
Paduka  Sri  Pekerma  Diraja. 

(2)  Sri  Rana  Adikerma, 
Sultan  Iskandar  Shah. 

(3)  Raja  Besar  Muda, 
Sultan  Ahmad  Shah. 

(i)  Palisura. 

(2)  Mukansautirsha. 

(3)  Sri  Mahala. 

(i)  Paramisura. 
(2)  Xaquendarsa. 

The  only  point  that  we  have  to  suggest  is 
that  these  lists  refer  to  the  same  men  in  the 
same  order.  If  this  is  admitted,  there  is  no 
difficulty  in  giving  the  pedigree  of  the  Kings  of 
Malacca  ;  but  the  acceptance  of  this  view 
disposes  at  once  of  the  theory  that  the  line  of 
the  Malacca  Kings  covers  the  earlier  dynasty  of 
Singapore.  The  truth  seems  to  be  that  the 
author  of  the  "  Malay  Annals "  had  only  the 
Malacca  pedigree  to  work  upon,  but  by  attach- 
ing Singapore  legends  to  the  names  of  Malacca 
Kings   he  represented   the   genealogy  as  one 


which  descended  from  the  mythical  Sang 
Sapurba  of  Palembang  through  the  Kings  of 
Singapore    (whose    very   names    he    did    not 



know),  down  to  the  family  with  which  he  was 
really  acquainted. 

As  Malay  tradition  seems  to  Insist  that  the 
first    Mahomedan   sovereign    took    the   name 

stones,  and  with  horses  and  saddles.     His  wife 
got  a  cap  and  dresses. 

"  At  the  moment  of  starting  he  was  enter- 
tained by  the  Emperor,  and  again  got  a  girdle 


of  Muhammad  Shah,  and  as  the  Paramisura 
of  Albuquerque  was  undoubtedly  the  first 
Mahomedan  sovereign,  we  are  justified  in 
believing  that  the  King  Paduka  Sri  Pgkerma 
Diraja  took  the  name  Sultan  Muhammad  Shah 
on  his  conversion.  He  ascended  the  throne 
before  a.d.  1403,  but  was  first  recognised 
by  the  Chinese  Emperor  in  a.d.  1405.  He 
visited  China  in  a.d,  1411.  The  following  is 
the  account  given  of  this  visit  in  the  records  of 
the  Ming  dynasty  : 

"In  1411  the  King  came  with  his  wife,  son, 
and  ministers — 540  persons  in  all.  On  his 
arrival  the  Emperor  sent  officers  to  receive 
him.  He  was  lodged  in  the  building  of  the 
Board  of  Rites,  and  was  received  in  audience 
by,  the  Emperor,  who  entertained  him  in 
person,  whilst  his  wife  and  the  others  were 
entertained  in  another  place.  Every  day 
bullocks,  goats,  and  wine  were  sent  him  from 
the  imperial  buttery.  The  Emperor  gave  the 
King  two  suits  of  clothes  embroidered  with 
golden  dragons  and  one  suit  with  unicorns  ; 
furthermore,  gold  and  silver  articles,  curtains, 
coverlets,  mattresses  —  everything  complete. 
His  wife  and  his  suite  also  got  presents. 

"  When  they  were  going  away  the  King  was 
presented  with  a  girdle  adorned  with  precious 

with  precious  stones,  saddled  horses,  100  ounces 
of  gold,  40,000  dollars  (kwan)  in  paper  money, 
2,600  strings  of  cash,  300  pieces  of  silk  gauze, 
1,000  pieces  of  plain  silk,  and  two  pieces  of  silk 
with  golden  flowers." 

It  is  not  surprising  that  kings  were  willing  to 
"  pay  tribute  "  to  China. 

The  policy  of  Muhammad  Shah  seems  to 
have  been  to  ally  himself  with  the  Mahomedan 
States  and  with  the  Chinese,  and  to  resist  the 
Siamese,  who  were  at  that  time  laying  claim  to 
the  southern  part  of  the  peninsula.  As  the 
Siamese  had  conquered  the  Cambodian  princi- 
palities that  had  sent  mining  colonies  to  the 
Southern  States,  the  King  of  Siam  had  a  certain 
claim  to  consider  himself  the  suzerain  of 
Malacca.  But  the  claim  was  a  very  shadowy 
one.  The  fall  of  the  Cambodian  kingdoms  in 
the  north  seems  to  have  killed  the  Cambodian 
colonies  in  the  south.  The  Siamese  themselves 
had  never  exercised  any  authority  over  Malacca. 
The  very  title  assumed  by  the  Siamese  King — 
"  Ruler  of  Singapore,  Malacca,  and  Malayu  " — 
shows  how  very  little  he  knew  about  the 
countries  that  he  claimed  to  own.  Nevertheless 
Siam  was  a  powerful  State,  and  its  fleets  and 
armies  were  a  constant  menace  to  the  prosperity 
of  the  growing  settlement  of  Malacca. 

The  Paramisura  Muhammad  Shah  died  about 
A.D.  1414.  He  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Sri 
Rakna  Adikerma,  who  took  the  title  of  Sultan 
Iskandar  Shah— the  Xaquendarsa  of  the  Portu- 
guese and  the  Mukansutirsha  of  the  Chinese 
records.  This  prince,  who  reigned  ten  years, 
paid  two  visits  to  China  during  his  reign,  one 
visit  in  A.D.  1414,  and  the  other  in  a.d.  1419. 
He  pursued  his  father's  defensive  policy  of 
alliances  against  the  Siamese. 

Sultan  Iskandar  Shah  died  in  a.d.  1424.  He 
was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Raja  Besar  Muda, 
who  bore  the  Hindu  title  of  Paduka  Sri  Maha- 
raja, and  assumed  the  Mahomedan  name  of 
Sultan  Ahmad  Shah.  This  ruler  is  not  men- 
tioned by  the  Portuguese,  but  he  appears  in 


Chinese  records  as  Sri  Mahala.  He  seems  to 
appear  twice — perhaps  three  times — in  the 
"  Malay  Annals  ":  first  as  Paduka  Sri  Maharaja, 
son  of  Sri  Rakna  Adikerma  (Iskandar  Shah's 



Hindu  title),  and  secondly  as  Raja  Besar  Muda, 
son  of  Iskandar  Shah.  He  is  also  confused 
with  Muhammad  Shah,  whose  place  he  ought 
to  be  given  in  the  pedigree.  It  is  therefore 
dilMcult  to  say  whether  he  or  the  first  King 
of  Malacca  ought  to  be  credited  with  the 
numerous  rules  and  regulations  drawn  up  for 
the  guidance  of  Malay  courtiers,  and  given  at 
great  length  in  the  "  Malay  Annals "  as  the 
work  of  "  Muhammad  Shah."  In  any  case, 
from  this  time  forward  the  use  of  yellow  was 
confined  to  men  of  royal  birth,  the  most  rigid 
etiquette  was  enforced  at  all  court  ceremonies, 
the  relative  precedence  of  officers  was  fixed, 
and  other  rules  were  made  regarding  the 
proper  attire  and  privileges  of  courtiers.  The 
author  of  the  "  Malay  Annals "  discusses  all 
these  points  at  great  length,  but  European 
students  are  not  likely  to  take  much  interest 
in  them.  Happy  is  the  country  that  has  no 
more  serious  troubles  than  disputes  about 
etiquette  !  The  first  three  Sultans  of  Malacca 
must  have  governed  well  to  bring  about  such  a 
result  as  this. 

Sultan  Ahmad  Shah  (Paduka  Sri  Maharaja) 
died  about  the  year  1444..  His  death  was 
followed  by  a  sort  of  interregnum,  during 
which  the  reins  of  power  were  nominally  held 
by  his  son.  Raja  Ibrahim,  or  Raja  Itam,  after- 
wards known  as  Abu  Shahid,  because  of  his 
unhappy  death.  This  interregnum  ended  in  a 
sudden  revolution,  in  which  Raja  Ibrahim  lost 
his  life,  and  Raja  Kasim,  his  brother,  came  to 
the  throne  under  the  name  of  Sultan  Mudzafar 
Shah,  the  Modafaixa  of  the  Portuguese  and  the 
Sultan  Wu-ta-funa-sha  of  Chinese  records. 
The  new  ruler  began  his  reign  in  the  usual 
manner  by  sending  envoys  to  China,  but  he 
did  not  go  himself  to  pay  his  respects  to  the 
Emperor.  He  had  to  wage  war  against  the 
Siamese,  who  seem  at  last  to  have  made  some 
sort  of  effort  to  enforce  their  claim  to  suzerainty 
over  the  south  of  the  peninsula.  Malay  records 
are  not  very  trustworthy,  and  we  need  not 
believe  all  that  they  tell  us  about  victories  over 
the  Siamese  ;  but  we  can  see  from  the  change 
in  the  policy  of  the  State  of  Malacca  that  it 
must  have  been  successful  in  its  campaigns 
against  its  northern  foe,  since  the  Malays, 
suddenly  becoming  aggressive,  carried  the 
war  into  the  enemy's  country.  From  this 
time  onwards  the  town  of  Malacca  becomes 
a  capital  instead  of  an  entire  State. 

Mudzafar  Shah  died  about  the  year  1459  a.d. 
According  to  Portuguese  authorities  he  con- 
quered Pahang,  Kampar,  and  Indragiri  ;  but, 
if  the  "Malay  Annals"  are  to  be  believed,  the 
honour  of  these  conquests  rests  with  his  son 
and  successor,  Mansur  Shah.  Sultan  Mansur 
Shah,  we  are  told,  began  his  reign  by  sending 
an  expedition  to  attack  Pahang.  After  giving 
a  good  descriptive  account  of  this  country,  with 
its  broad  and  shallow  river,  its  splendid  sandy 
beaches,  its  alluvial  gold  workings,  and  its  huge 
wild  cattle,  the  "  Malay  Annals"  go  on  to  say 
that  the  ruler  of  Pahang  was  a  certain  Maha- 
raja Dewa  Sura,  a  relative  of  the  King  of  Siam. 
Chinese  records  also  say  that  the  country  was 
ruled  by  princes  who  bore  Sanskrit  titles,  and 
who  must  have  been  either  Buddhist  or  Hindu 
by  religion  ;  but  they  add  that  the  people  were 
in  the  habit — otherwise  unknown  in  Malaya — 
of  offering  up  human  sacrifices  to  their  idols 

of  fragrant  wood.  Their  language  also  does 
not  seem  to  have  been  Malayan.  Pahang  was 
conquered  after  very  little  resistance,  and  its 
prince,  Maharaja  Dewa  Sura,  was  brought 
captive  to  Malacca.  Of  the  expeditions  against 
Kampar  and  Indragiri  we  know  nothing  except 
that  they  were  successful. 

court,  and  to  his  being  sent  to  rule  over 
Pahang  alone,  under  the  title  of  Sultan  Mu- 
hammad Shah.  By  a  Javanese  wife  the  Sultan 
had  one  son,  Radin  Geglang,  who  succeeded 
his  stepbrother  as  heir  to  the  throne,  and  was 
afterwards  killed  while  trying  to  stop  a  man 
who  ran  amuck.     By  a  daughter  of  his  chief 


Sultan  Mansur  Shah  married  five  wives.  By 
a  daughter  of  the  conquered  Maharaja  Dewa 
Sura  he  had  two  sons,  one  of  whom  he  desig- 
nated as  heir  to  the  throne  ;  but  a  murder 
committed  by  the  prince  in  a  moment  of 
passion  led  to  his  being  banished  from  the 

minister,  the  Bendahara,  the  SuUan  left  a  son, 
Raja  Husain,  who  ultimately  succeeded  him. 
By  a  Chinese  wife  the  SuUan  left  descendants 
who  established  themselves  as  independent 
princes  at  Jeram,  in  Selangor.  By  his  fifth 
wife,  the  daughter  of  a  chief  (Sri  Xara  Diraja), 



the  Sultan  only  had  two  daughters.  The  fol- 
lowing table  shows  how  the  kingdom  of 
Malacca  was  divided  up  ; 

severe  conflict,  in  which  most  of  his  relatives 
were  slain.  But  that  is  not  the  account  given 
us  in  the  "  Malay  Anoalii."    The  proud  chief  is 


Raja  Ahmad 

(Sultan  Muhammad  Shah 

of  Pahang) 

Raja  Kasim 
(Sultan  Madzafar  Shah) 


Raja  Abdullah 

(Sultan  Mansur  Shah) 


Paduka  Mimat 
(whose  family  ruled 
in  Jeram) 

Raja  Husain 

(Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  I. 

of  Malacca) 

Raja  Menawar 

(Sultan  Menawar  Shah  of 



Raja  Muhammad 

(Sultan  Mahmud  Shah  of 


The  policy  of  war  and  conquest  initiated  by 
Mudzafar  Shah  and  Mansur  Shah  was  a  fatal 
one  to  a  trading  port  like  Malacca.  It  turned 
the  Malays  into  a  sort  of  military  aristocracy, 
living  on  the  trade  of  the  foreign  settlers  in 
their  city.  Trade  is  not,  however,  killed  in  a 
day.  The  foreign  merchants  ffom  India  and 
China,  though  they  continued  to  frequent  the 
harbour  of  Malacca,  began  to  look  upon  the 
Sultan  and  his  people  as  a  mere  burden  on 
the  town — as  indeed  they  were.  The  Sultan 
needed  money  for  his  pleasures,  his  followers, 
and  his  wars  ;  he  increased  his  exactions  from 
year  to  year.  But  for  the  coming  of  the  Portu- 
guese, the  fate  of  Malacca  would  ultimately 
have  been  the  same  as  that  of  Pasai,  Samudra, 
Perlak,  and  the  other  trading  ports  that  enjoyed 
at  various  times  a  temporary  spell  of  prosperity 
as  emporia  in  the  Eastern  seas.  Even  as  it 
was,  Albuquerque  found  the  foreign  settlers 
in  the  citj'  perfectly  willing  to  rise  in  revolt 
against  their  Malay  masters. 

Mansur  Shah  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Raja 
Husain,  who  took  the  name  of  Alaedin  Riayat 
Shah.  This  Prince  is  said  by  the  Portuguese 
to  have  been  poisoned  at  the  instigation  of  the 
rulers  of  Pahang  and  Indragiri.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded by  his  son,  Sultan  Mahmud  Shah,  the 
last  of  the  Kings  of  Malacca.  Sultan  Mahmud 
Shah  seems  to  have  been  a  weak  ruler,  who 
gave  himself  up  to  his  pleasures,  and  ultimately 
delegated  all  his  powers  to  his  son,  the  Prince 
Alaedin,  whom  he  raised  to  sovereign  rank 
under  the  name  of  Ahmad  Shah.  The  most 
important  event  in  his  reign — apart  from  the 
Portuguese  conquest — was  the  mysterious  revo- 
lution of  A.D.  1510,  in  which  the  most  powerful 
chief  in  Malacca,  the  Bendahara  Sri  Maharaja, 
lost  his  hfe.  This  event  is  mentioned  by  Albu- 
querque, and  is  described  with  great  vividness 
by  the  author  of  the  "  Malay  Annals,"  who, 
being  a  member  of  the  Bendahara's  family, 
was  extremely  anxious  to  represent  his  great 
ancestor's  case  in  the  best  possible  light. 
According  to  his  story,  one  of  the  great 
ministers  of  state  was  induced,  by  a  very 
heavy  bribe,  to  bring  a  false  charge  of  treason 
against  the  Bendahara —"for  there  is  truth  in 
the  saying,  '  Gold,  thou  art  not  God,  yet  art 
thou  the  almighty ' " — and  the  Sultan  was 
tempted  by  an  illicit  passion  for  the  Benda- 
hara's daughter  into  consenting  to  his  min- 
ister's death — "  Love  knows  no  limitation  and 
passion  no  consideration."  It  is  probable  that 
the  great  minister  was  only  overthrown  after  a 

said  to  have  consented  to  die  rather  than  lift  a 
finger  in  opposition  to  the  King  :  "  It  is  the 
glory  of  the  Malay  that  he  is  ever  faithful  to 
his  ruler."  The  Sultan's  messenger  approached 
and  presented  him  with  a  silver  platter,  on 
which  rested  the  sword  of  execution.  "  God 
calls  you  to  His  presence,"  said  the  messenger. 
"  I  bow  to  the  Divine  will,"  said  the  Bendahara. 
Such  was  said  to  have  been  his  end,  but  there 
is  a  curious  epilogue  to  this  tale  of  loyalty.  In 
A.D.  1699  the  last  Prince  of  the  royal  line  of 
Malacca  was  slain  by  his  Bendahara,  the  lineal 
representative  of  the  murdered  minister  of 
A.D.  1510,  and  of  his  successor  and  champion 
thecourtly  author  of  the  "  Malay  Annals."  It  is 
therefore  quite  possible  that  the  Bendahara  of 
A.D.  1510  was  only  conspiring  to  do  what  the 
Bendahara  of  a.d.  1699  eventually  succeeded  in 


The  Portuguese  Ascendancy. 

The  famous  expedition  of  Vasco  da  Gama, 
the  first  European  navigator  to  appear  in  the 
Eastern  seas,  took  place  in  1498.  Within  ten 
years  Da  Gama  had  been  followed  to  the  East 
by  many  other  famous  adventurers — Francisco 
de  Albuquerque,  Alfonso  de  Albuquerque,  Fran- 
cisco de  Almeida,  Tristano  d'Acunha,  Jorge  de 
Mello,  and  Jorge  de  Aguyar.  In  1508  the  whole 
of  the  Portuguese  "  empire  "  in  the  East  was 
divided  into  two  viceroyalties,  one  stretching 
from  Mozambique  to  Diu  in  India,  the  other 
from  Diu  to  Cape  Comorin.  Francisco  de 
Almeida  was  appointed  Viceroy  of  Africa, 
Arabia,  and  Persia  ;  Alfonso  de  Albuquerque 
was  Viceroy  of  India.  Two  other  Admirals 
were  sent  out  in  that  year  to  carve  out  vice- 
royalties  for  themselves.  Of  these  two,  one 
— Diego  Lopez  de  Sequeira — was  destined  for 
Malaya.  He  left  the  Tagus  with  four  ships 
on  April  5,  1508,  sailed  to  Cochin  (the  head- 
quarters of  the  Indian  Viceroy),  borrowed  a 
ship  from  the  Portuguese  fleet  at  that  port, 
and  finally,  in  August,  1509,  sailed  to  Malacca. 
As  soon  as  Sequeira  cast  anchor  in  the 
harbour  a  boat  put  off  from  the  shore  to  ask 
him,  in  the  name  of  the  Bendahara,  who  he 
was  and  why  he  came.  The  Portuguese 
Admiral  answered  that  he  was  an  envoy  from 
the  King  of  Portugal  with  gifts  for  the  Sultan 
of  Malacca.  Messages  then  seem  to  have  been 
interchanged  for  several  days,  and  ultimately 

a  Portuguese  of  good  position,  one  Teixeira, 
was  sent  ashore  and  conducted  to  the  palace 
on  an  elephant.  He  handed  the  Sultan  an 
Arabic  letter  signed  by  Emmahuel,  King  of 
Portugal  ;  he  also  gave  the  Malay  ruler  some 
presents.  This  interview  was  followed  by  the 
usual  interchange  of  compliments  and  friendly 
assurances  ;  permission  to  trade  was  given, 
and,  finally,  Teixeira  was  conducted  in  honour 
back  to  his  ship. 

But  in  the  town  of  Malacca  all  was  excite- 
ment. The  wealthy  Indian  merchants  could 
hardly  have  viewed  with  equanimity  the 
presence  of  strangers  who  threatened  them 
with  the  loss  of  their  trade.  The  suspicious 
rulers  of  the  city  feared  the  powerful  fleet  of 
Sequeira.  The  Bendahara  wished  to  attack 
the  Portuguese  at  once  ;  the  Laksamana  and 
the  Temenggong  hesitated.  The  Sultan  in- 
vited the  strangers  to  a  feast — perhaps  with 
the  intention  of  murdering  them  ;  Sequeira, 
with  d.  rudeness  that  may  have  been  wise, 
refused  the  dangerous  invitation.  Meanwhile 
the  Bendahara's  party  had  begun  to  collect  a 
small  flotilla  behind  Cape  Rachado  so  as  to  be 
ready  for  all  emergencies.  The  position  was 
one  of  great  tension.  The  Portuguese  who 
landed  at  Malacca  do  not  seem  to  have  been 
molested,  but  they  could  hardly  have  failed  to 
notice  the  nervous  hostility  of  the  populace. 
The  "  Malay  Annals  " — written  a  century  later 
— contain  echoes  of  this  old  feeling  of  fear  and 
dislike  of  the  strangers,  the  popular  wonder  at 
these  "  white-skinned  Bengalis,"  the  astonish- 
ment at  the  blunt  bullet  that  pierced  so  sharply, 
the  horror  at  the  blunders  in  etiquette  com- 
mitted by  the  well-meaning  Portuguese.  "  Let 
them  alone,  they  know  no  manners,"  said  the 
Sultan,  when  his  followers  wished  to  cut  down 
a  Portuguese  who  had  laid  hands  on  the  sacred 
person  of  the  King  in  placing  a  collar  round 
his  neck.  At  such  a  time  very  little  provoca- 
tion would  have  started  a  conflict  ;  a  mis- 
understanding probably  brought  it  about. 
Suspecting  the  crews  of  the  Malay  boats  of 
wishing  to  board  the  Portuguese  vessels,  a 
sentry  gave  an  alarm.  A  panic  at  once 
arose  ;  the  Malays  on  deck  sprang  overboard  ; 
the  Portuguese  fired  their  guns.  Sequeira 
avoided  any  further  action  in  the  hope  of 
saving  those  of  his  men  who  were  on  shore 
at  the  time,  but  the  sudden  appearance  of  the 
Malay  flotilla  from  behind  Cape  Rachado 
forced  his  hand.  The  Portuguese  sailed  out 
to  meet  this  new  enemy  and  so  lost  the  chance 
of  rescuing  the  stragglers.  When  they  re- 
turned it  was  too  late.  The  city  was  now 
openly  hostile  ;  the  Europeans  on  shore  had 
been  taken  ;  the  fleet  was  not  strong  enough 
to  take  the  town  unaided.  After  wasting  some 
days  in  useless  negotiations,  Sequeira  had  to 
sail  away.  His  expedition  had  been  an  utter 
failure.  After  plundering  a  few  native  ships 
he  sent  two  of  his  own  fleet  to  Cochin,  and 
returned  to  Portugal  without  making  any 
attempt  to  redeem  his  mistakes. 

King  Emmanuel  of  Portugal  was  not  the 
man  to  submit  tamely  to  a  disaster  of  this 
sort.  Fitting  out  three  more  ships  under 
Diego  Mendez  de  Vasconcellos,  he  sent  them 
—in  March,  1510— to  organise  a  fresh  attack 
on  Malacca.  This  fleet  was  diverted  by  the 
Viceroy  de  Albuquerque  to  assist  him  in  his 



Indian  wars;  but  in  May,  ijii,  the  great 
Viceroy  himself  set  out  to  attack  Malacca, 
taking  19  ships,  800  European  troops,  and  600 
Malabar  sepoys.  He  first  sailed  to  Pedir,  in 
Sumatra.  There  he  found  a  Portuguese  named 
Viegas,    one    of     Sequeira's    men,    who   had 

that  was  bearing  the  news  of  his  approach  to 
Malacca.  He  caught  this  vessel  and  slew  its 
captain.  Still  sailing  on,  he  captured  a  large 
Indian  trading  ship,  from  which  he  learnt 
that  the  rest  of  Sequeira's  men  were  still  alive 
and  in  bondage  to  the  Malays,  the  leading  man 

escaped  from  captivity  in  Malacca  and  who 
reported  that  there  were  other  Portuguese 
fugitives  at  Pasai.  The  Viceroy  sailed  to 
Pasai  and  picked  them  up.  He  was  well 
received  by  the  people  of  Pasai,  but  he  sailed 
on  at  once  in  order  to  overtake  a  native  ship 

among  them  being  one  Ruy  d'Aranjo,  a  per- 
sonal friend  of  the  Viceroy.  On  July  T, 
1511,  Albuquerque  and  his  fleet  of  nineteen 
ships  sailed  into  the  roadstead  at  Malacca 
with  trumpets  sounding,  banners  waving, 
guns    firing,    and    with    every  demonstration 

that  might  be  expected  to  overawe  the  junks 
in  the  harbour  and  the  warriors  in  the  town. 
At  the  sight  of  the  powerful  Portuguese  fleet 
the  native  vessels  in  the  roadstead  attempted 
to  flee,  but  the  Viceroy,  who  feared  that  any 
precipitate  action  on  his  part  might  lead  to  the 
murder  of  his  fellow-countrymen  in  the  town, 
ordered  the  ships  to  stay  where  they  vi'ere,  and 
assured  them  that  he  had  no  piratical  inten- 
tions.   The   captains  of    three   large  Chinese 
junks   in  the  harbour   then   visited    the   Por- 
tuguese Admiral  and  offered  to  assist  him  in 
attacking  the  town  ;  they,  too,  had  grievances 
against  the  port  authorities.    The  captain  of  a 
Gujerat  trading  ship  also  came  with  a  similar 
tale.     Early  on  the  following  day  there  came 
envoys  from  the  Sultan  to  say  that  the  Malay 
ruler  had  always  been  friendly  to  the  King  of 
Portugal,  and  that  his  wicked  Bendahara — who 
had  recently  been  put  to  death — was  entirely 
responsible  for  the  attack  on  Sequeira.     Albu- 
querque   made    every    effort    to    impress  the 
envoys   with   a   sense  of   his   power,    but    he 
replied    with    the     simple    answer     that     no 
arrangement  was  possible  until  the  prisoners 
had    been    released.      The    prisoners     were, 
indeed,  the  key  of  the  situation.    The  Admiral 
was  sure  (hat  any  attack  on  the  town  would 
be  the  signal  for  them  to  be  massacred  ;  the 
Sultan  vaguely  felt  that  to  give  them  up  would 
be  to  surrender  a  powerful  weapon  of  defence. 
So  the  days  passed  ;  the  Malays  were  arming, 
the  Portuguese  were  examining  the  roadstead 
with  a  view  to  devising  a  good  plan  of  attack, 
but  neither  side  did  any  overt  act  of  hostility. 
At  the  Malacca  Court  itself  the  usual  divided 
counsels  prevailed,  the  war  party  being  led  by 
the  Sultan's  eldest  son  and  by  the  Sultan's  son- 
in-law,   the   Prince   of   Pahang.     After    seven 
days    of    futile  negotiations  a   man   from   the 
town  slipped  on  board  the  Admiral's  ship  with 
a  letter  from  Ruy  d'Aranjo,  the  most  important 
of  the  prisoners,  strongly  advising  Albuquerque 
to  abandon  all  idea  of  rescuing  them  and  to 
begin  the  attack  without  further  delay.    The 
Viceroy  was  not  prepared  to  take  advantage 
of  this   heroic    offer   of    self-sacrifice    on   the 
prisoners'  part,   but  he  felt  that  his   present 
policy  could  lead   to   nothing.     By  way  of  a 
demonstration,   he   burnt  some  of   the   Malay 
shipping    in    the    harbour   and    bombarded  a 
few   of   the  finer  residences    on    the  seaside. 
The    demonstration  produced  an   unexpected 
result :    Ruy  d'Aranjo  was   at  once  released. 
He  brought  with  him  the  news  that  many  of 
the  townspeople  were   hostile  to  the  Sultan 
and  would  be  prepared   to   turn  against  the 
Malays  should  the  opportunity  present  itself. 
This  information  probably  settled  the  fate  of 
the  city. 

More  negotiations  followed.  Albuquerque 
asked  for  permission  to  build  a  fortified  factory 
in  the  town  of  Malacca,  so  that  Portuguese 
merchants  might  be  able  to  trade  there  in 
peace  and  safety  ;  he  also  asked  for  the  return 
of  the  booty  taken  from  Sequeira,  and  for  an 
indemnity  of  300,000  cruzados  (about  ;£33,50o). 
He  found  that  the  Sultan  was  not  indisposed 
to  make  concessions,  but  that  the  younger 
chiefs  were  clamorous  for  war.  Ultimately, 
as  often  happens  in  Malay  councils,  the  Sultan 
decided  to  stand  aside  and  to  let  the  opposing 
parties — the    Portuguese    and    the    Princes — 



fight  it  out.  He  himself  stood  on  the  defensive 
and  refused  either  to  malce  concessions  or  to 
lead  an  attack.  As  soon  as  tliis  decision  was 
arrived  at,  the  Prince  Alaedin  and  the  Sultan 
of  Pahang  set  about  the  defence  of  the  town, 
while  the  Javanese  communities  seem  to  have 
assured  the  Admirals  that  the  coming  conflict 
was  no  concern  of  theirs,  and  that  they  were,  if 
anything,  well  disposed  to  the  Portuguese. 
In  order  to  understand  the  plan  of  attack,  it 


is  necessary  to  appreciate  the  difference  between 
the  Malacca  of  1511  and  the  Malacca  of  the 
present  time.  It  is  often  supposed  that  the 
harbour  has  silted  up  and  that  the  conditions 
cannot  be  reproduced,  but  it  should  be  remem- 
bered (hat  the  Portuguese  ships  were  small 
vessels  of  light  draught  that  could  lie  much 
closer  to  the  shore  than  the  deep-draughted 
steamers  of  to-day.  The  great  change  that  has 
come  over  the  harbour  is  due  to  the  shifting  of 
the  river  channel  after  it  enters  the  sea.  The 
old  maps  of  Malacca  show  that  the  Malacca 
river  on  reaching  its  mouth  turned  sharply  to 
the  right,  and  had  scooped  out  a  comparatively 
deep  channel  very  close  to  the  northern  shore, 
where  the  houses — then  as  now — were  thickly 
clustered.  This  channel  was  the  old  harbour 
of  Malacca  ;  it  enabled  light-draught  ships  to 
lie  very  close  to  the  land,  and  it  explains  how 
the  Portuguese  with  their  guns  of  little  range 
could  succeed  in  bombarding  the  houses  on 
the  shore.  Landing  was,  however,  another 
matter.  The  deep  mud-banks  made  it  ex- 
tremely difficult  to  land  under  cover  of  the 
guns  of  the  fleet  ;  the  true  landing-place, 
then  as  now,  lay  just  inside  the  river  itself. 
Above  the  landing-place,  then  as  now, 
there  was  a  bridge,  but  the  old  Malay  bridge 
was  a  little  further  up  the  river  than  the 
present  structure.  This  bridge,  since  it  com- 
manded the  landing-place  and  maintained 
communications  between  the  two  sections  of 
the  town,  was  the  key  of  the  whole  situation. 
Both  sides  realised  how  matters  stood.  The 
Malays  strongly  fortified  the  bridge,  and 
stationed  upon  it  a  force  of  picked  men  under 
an  Indian  mercenary  named  Tuan  Bandam. 
The  high  ground  immediately  to  the  south  of 

the  river — St.  Paul's  Hill,  as  it  is  now  called — 
was  the  true  Malay  citadel.  It  was  covered 
with  the  houses  of  the  principal  adherents  of 
the  Sultan,  and  was  the  site  of  the  Sultan's 
palace  itself.  It  protected  the  bridge,  and 
was  garrisoned  by  the  followers  of  the  war 
party,  the  Prince  Alaedin  and  the  Sultan  of 
Pahang.  It  was  felt  by  all  that  the  landing- 
places  and  the  bridge  would  be  the  centre  of 
the  coming  struggle. 

Behind  all  this  show  of  Malay  strength  there 
was,  however,  very  little  true  power.  The 
Malays  themselves  were  nothing  more  than  a 
military  garrison  living  on  the  resources  of 
an  alien  community.  The  trading  town  of 
Malacca  was  divided  up  into  quarters  under 
foreign  headmen.  The  Javanese  of  Gersek 
held  Bandar  Hilir  to  the  south  of  the  river  ; 
the  Javanese  and  Sundanese  from  Japara  and 
Tuban  held  Kampong  Upeh  to  the  north  of  the 
river.  The  Indian  merchants  also  possessed 
a  quarter  of  their  own.  These  alien  merchants 
did  not  love  the  Malays.  All  they  wanted  was 
to  trade  in  peace  ;  at  the  first  sign  of  a  struggle 
they  began  to  remove  their  goods  to  places  of 
safety,  and  had  to  be  forcibly  prevented  from 
fleeing  inland.  The  Sultan  of  Pahang  with 
his  fire-eating  followers  was  not  a  very  reliable 
ally  ;  he  had  no  real  interest  in  the  war.  The 
conflict  ultimately  resolved  itself  into  a  trial  of 
strength  between  the  personal  retainers  of  the 
Sultan  and  the  1,400  soldiers  of  Albuquerque, 
but  the  advantage  of  position  was  all  on  the 
side  of  the  Malays. 

The  Viceroy's  preparations  for  attack  lasted 
several  days.  He  spent  his  time  in  tampering 
with  the  loyalty  of  the  Javanese  and  other 
foreign  communities,  and  in  constructing  a 
floating  battery  of  very  light  draught  to  enter 
the  river  and  bombard  the  bridge.  This 
battery  was  not  altogether  a  success.  It 
grounded  at  the  very  mouth  of  the  river,  and 
was  exposed  for  nine  days  and  nights  to  inces- 

and  forced  the  floating  battery  up  to  a  more 
commanding  position,  whence  it  made  short 
work  of  the  bridge  itself.  The  battery  had  now 
done  its  work  and  had  made  communication 
between  the  two  banks  of  the  river  less  ready 
than  it  had  previously  been,  but  the  fight  was 


sant  attacks  from  both  b.mks.  Its  commander, 
Antonio  d'Abreu,  had  his  teeth  shot  away  at 
the  very  first  attack,  but  he  stuck  doggedly  to 
his  post  and  saved  the  battery  from  capture. 
At  last  Albuquerque  landed  a  strong  force, 
obtained  temporary  possession  of  both  banks, 


(The  "tree  "  shows  how  Malay  tin  coins  are  cast. 
The  hole  in  the  cash  is  square.) 

by  no  means  over.  The  Prince  Alaedin  and  his 
men  furiously  attacked  the  landing  party  and 
were  only  beaten  off  after  the  Portuguese  had 
lost  80  men  in  killed  and  wounded.  The  Viceroy 
tried  to  follow  up  his  success  by  attacking  the 
mosques  and  palace  on  St.  Paul's  Hill.  Be- 
wildered in  a  maze  of  buildings,  the  Portuguese 
again  suffered  heavy  loss,  and  had  to  beat  a 
confused  retreat  to  their  landing-place.  There 
they  entrenched  themselves  and  were  able  to 
hold  their  own.  Their  only  substantial  success 
had  been  the  capture  of  the  outworks  built  by 
the  Malays  to  protect  the  landing-places  ;  the 
fortifications  of  the  bridge  itself  were  still  un- 

The  next  attack  took  place  on  St.  James's 
Day,  July  24,  15:1.  The  Viceroy  landed  bodies 
of  men  on  both  banks  of  the  river  and  advanced 
again  upon  the  bridge.  The  Portuguese  on  the 
south  bank  were  furiously  attacked  by  a  Malay 
force  of  about  seven  hundred  men,  headed  by  the 
Sultan  in  person.  The  battle  appears  to  have 
been  a  very  terrible  one,  and  to  have  raged 
principally  about  the  south  end  of  the  bridge, 
where  the  high  ground  of  the  hill  approaches 
nearest  to  the  river.  From  their  vantage 
ground  on  the  slopes,  and  under  cover  of  their 
buildings,  the  Malays  poured  an  incessant  stream 
of  poisoned  darts  upon  the  Portuguese,  who 
replied  by  burning  the  houses  and  endeavouring 
to  drive  the  Malays  out  of  their  cover.  En- 
cumbered with  armour  and  weapons,  the  Portu- 
guese found  that  the  heat  of  the  fire  was  more 



than  they  could  resist.  To  add  to  their  troubles, 
the  Lalcsamana  Hang  Tuah  brought  down  a 
flotilla  of  boats  and  fireships  that  harassed  the 
flanks  and  threatened  the  communications  of 
the  Viceroy's  force^.  Albuquerque  decided  to 
retreat.  He  retireid  to  his  ships,  taking  with 
him  70  of  his  men  who  had  been  struck 
down  with  poisoned  darts  ;  of  these  70  men 
twelve  died,  and  the  rest  suffered  from  con- 
stantly recurring  pain  for  a  long  period  of 
time.  The  Malay  losses  will  never  be  known. 
The  Sultan  of  Pahang,  whose  houses  had  been 
burnt  and  whose  property  had  been  plundered, 
left  his  father-in-law  in  the  lurch  and  returned 
to  his  own  country.  The  iire-eating  youths  of 
Malacca,  who  had  egged  on  their  .Sultan  to 
war,  had  now  had  enough  of  the  fighting.  The 
foreign  merchants  had  learnt  that  their  Malay 
masters  were  not  necessarily  omnipotent. 
Although  the  Viceroy  had  been  consistently 
repulsed,  his  very  pertinacity  had  practically 
secured  the  victory.  When  he  landed  again 
on  the  following  day  all  organised  resistance 
was  over.  The  foreign  subjects  of  the  Sultan 
refused  to  expose  their  lives  in  a  hopeless  cause 
that  was  not  their  own.  The  Sultan's  retainers 
found  that  the  profit  of  war  was  not  worth  its 
risks.  The  Sultan  himself  fled.  A  few  untam- 
able spirits  like  the  Laksamana  continued  to 
carry  on  a  guerilla  warfare  against  the  Portu- 
guese, but  with  no  real  hope  of  success.  The 
foreigners  all  submitted — first  the  Peguans,  then 
the  various  sections  of  the  Javanese  community  ; 
they  even  joined  the  Portuguese  Under  the 
brothers  De  Andrade  in  an  expedition  to  destroy 
the  stockades  of  the  Prince  Alaedin.  After  this 
the  Malay  Prince  saw  the  futility  of  further 
resistance  ;  he  followed  his  father  in  his  flight 
to  the  interior.  A  few  scattered  bands  of  out- 
laws represented  all  that  was  left  of  the  famous 
Malay  kingdom  of  Malacca. 

The  spoils  taken  by  the  Portuguese  are  not 
exactly  known.  According  to  some  authorities, 
the  value  of  the  plunder  was  SOi°oo  cruzados, 
or  about  ;^6,ooo  ;  others  say  that  this  only 
represented  the  King's  share  of  the  spoil.  It 
was  also  said  that  several  thousand  cannon — 
either  3,000  or  8,000 — were  captured.  This  ex- 
pression may  refer  to  mere  firearms,  but  it 
must  be  enormously  exaggerated  even  with 
this  limitation.  The  Malay  forces  were  very 
small,  and  they  inflicted  most  damage  with 
poisoned  darts.  Moreover,  we  are  specially 
told  that  Albuquerque  sent  home  as  his  only 
important  trophies  one  or  two  cannon  of  Indian 
make  and  some  Chinese  images  of  lions.  Had 
it  not  been  for  the  foreign  elements  in  the 
population  of  the  town  of  Malacca,  the  capture 
of  the  city  would  have  been  an  act  of  useless 
folly.  As  it  was,  the  victory  was  a  valuable 
one.  It  substituted  a  Portuguese  for  a  Malay 
ruling  class  without  destroying  the  trade- 
tradition  of  the  place.  It  gave  the  Portuguese 
a-  naval  base,  a  trading  centre,  and  a  citadel 
that  they  could  easily  hold  against  any  attacks 
that  the  Malays  might  organise. 

The  Viceroy  could  not  afford  to  garrison 
Malacca  with  the  force  that  had  sufficed  to 
take  it.  He  had  captured  it  with  the  whole 
of  the  available  forces  of  Portuguese  India — 
ig  ships,  800  European  soldiers,  and  600  sepoys. 
If  anything  was  needed  to  show  the  unreality 
of  the  wealth   and  power  ascribed  by  some 

imaginative  writers  to  these  old  Malayan 
"empires"  or  "kingdoms,"  it  would  be  the 
insignificance  of  the  Portuguese  garrisons 
that  held  their  own  against  all  attacks  and 
even  organised  small  punitive  expeditions  in 
reply.  The  loss  of  ten  or  twelve  Portuguese 
was  a  disaster  of  the  first  magnitude  to  the 
"  captain  "  in  charge  of  the  town  and  fort  of 
Malacca.  A  small  Portuguese  reverse  on  the 
Muar  river — when  the  gallant  Ruy  d'Aranjo 
was  killed  —  enabled  the  Laksamana  Hang 
Tuah  to  entrench  himself  on  the  Malacca 
river  and  to  "besiege"  the  town.  This 
famous  Malay  chief,  whose  name  still  lives  in 
the  memory  of  his  countrymen,  was  a  man  of 
extraordinary  energy  and  resource.  He  fought 
the  Portuguese  by  sea,  in  the  narrows  of  the 
Singapore  Straits  ;  he  surprised  them  off  Cape 
Rachado  ;  he  harassed  the  town  of  Malacca 
from  the  upper  reaches  of  its  own  river  ;  he 
intrigued  with  the  allies  of  the  Portuguese  ; 
he  even  induced  a  Javanese  fleet  to  threaten 
Malacca.    This  indefatigable  fighter  died  as  he 


had  lived,  desperately  warring  against  the 
enemies  of  his  race.  With  his  death,  and  with 
the  destruction  in  1526  of  the  Sultan's  new 
stronghold  on  the  island  of  Bintang,  the  Malay 
power  was  utterly  destroyed.  From  1511  to 
1605  the  Portuguese  were  the  real  masters  of 
the  Straits. 

The  history  of  Malacca  from  the  date  of 
Sequeira's  expedition  (a.d.  1509)  to  the  time 
when  it  was  captured  by  the  Dutch  (a.d.  1641) 
reads  like  a  romance.  It  is  associated  with 
great  names  like  those  of  Camoens  and  St. 
Francis  Xavier  ;  it  is  the  story  of  desperate 
sieges  and  of  the  most  gallant  feats  of  arms. 
Tradition  has  it  that  once  when  the  garrison 
had  fired  away  their  last  ounce  of  powder  in 
the  course  of  a  desperate  battle  against  the 
Achinese,  the  suspicious-seeming  silence  of 
the  grim  fortress  terrified  the  enemy  into  flight. 
We  are  not,  however,  concerned  with  the 
romance  of  its  history  so  much  as  with  its 
pohtical  aspect.  There  is  something  significant 
in  the  very  titles  of  the  officials  of  Malacca. 
The  Portuguese  Governor  of  Malacca  was 
its  "  captain,"   the   heads   of  the    native  com- 

munities were  "captains"  too.  Indeed,  Albu- 
querque went  so  far  as  to  appoint  the  Javanese 
headman,  Ultimuti  Raja,  his  bendahara.  The 
high  officials  of  the  Dutch  bore  trading  names 
such  as  "  first  merchant "  or  "  second  mer- 
chant "  ;  the  civil  servants  of  our  own  East 
India  Company  were  "  writers."  There  is  no 
arrogance  about  any  of  these  descriptions  ; 
they  only  showed  what  their  bearers  really 
were.  What,  then,  are  we  to  make  of  titles 
such  as  those  of  the  "  Viceroy  of  Africa, 
Arabia,  and  Persia "  and  the  "  Viceroy  of 
India  "  ?  They  hardly  represented  realities  ;  did 
they  symbolise  any  national  policy  or  ambition  ? 
The  aim  of  all  the  European  Powers  in  the 
Far  East — whether  Portuguese  or  Dutch  or 
English — was  to  capture  the  rich  trade  of  these 
countries.  Sequeira  asked  for  permission  to 
trade ;  Albuquerque  asked  for  permission  to 
build  a  fortified  factory  at  Malacca  ;  the  East 
India  Companies  of  the  Dutch  and  English  were 
merely  trading  concerns.  Yet  there  was  this 
difference.  The  imperial  idea — which,  in  the 
case  of  the  Dutch  and  English,  took  centuries 
to  develop — seems  to  have  existed  from  the 
very  first  in  the  minds  of  the  Portuguese.  It 
was  not  the  imperialism  of  the  present  clay  ; 
Albuquerque  did  not  seek  to  administer,  even 
when  he  claimed  suzerainty.  He  allowed  his 
Asiatic  subjects  a  wide  measure  of  self-govern- 
ment under  their  own  "  captains  "  in  the  very 
town  of  Malacca  itself.  Although  he  did  not, 
indeed,  try  to  administer,  he  tried  to  dominate. 
The  Portuguese  power  would  brook  no  rival. 
The  garrisons  were  small — they  were  not 
sufficient  to  hold  any  tract  of  country — but  the 
striking  force  of  the  viceroyalty  was  sufficient 
to  destroy  any  trading  port  that  refused  to  bow 
to  the  wishes  of  the  Portuguese  or  that  set 
itself  up  in  irreconcilable  hostility  against  them. 
Again  and  again — at  Kampar,  in  the  island  of 
Bintang,  and  on  the  shores  of  the  Johore  river 
— did  the  Portuguese  expeditions  harry  the 
fugitives  of  the  old  Malay  kingdom  and  destroy 
the  chance  of  a  native  community  rising  to 
menace  their  fortified  base  at  Malacca.  What 
they  did  in  these  Straits  they  also  did  on  the 
shores  of  India  and  Africa.  The  titles  of  the 
old  Portuguese  Viceroys  were  not  misnomers, 
though  they  did  not  bear  the  administrative 
significance  that  we  should  now  attach  to 
them.  The  Portuguese  fleet  did  really  domin- 
ate the  East.  The  weakness  of  this  old  Portu- 
guese "  empire"  lay  in  the  fact  thatit  could  not 
possibly  survive  the  loss  of  sea-power.  It 
consisted — territoriallj' — of  a  few  naval  bases 
that  became  a  useless  burden  when  the  com- 
mand of  the  sea  passed  into  the  hands  of  the 
English  and  Dutch.  The  fall  of  Malacca  may 
be  truly  said  to  date  from  a.d.  1606,  when  the 
Dutch  Admiral  Cornells  Matelief  gained  a 
decisive,  victory  over  the  Portuguese  fleet  in 
the  Straits  of  Malacca.  From  that  time  for- 
ward the  doom  of  the  town  was  sealed.  Trade 
went  with  the  command  of  the  sea  ;  apart 
from  lis  trade,  Malacca  had  no  sufficient 
revenue  and  became  a  useless  burden  to  the 
Viceroys  of  Goa.  Portuguese  pride  did  indeed 
induce  the  Viceroys  at  first  to  send  expeditions 
to  the  relief  of  their  beleaguered  countrvmen 
in  the  famous  fortress,  but  as  siege  succeeded 
siege  it  became  obvious  that  the  fate  of  the  city 
was  only  a  question  of  time.     It  fell  in  1641. 



After  Sultan  JIahmud  had  been  driven  out 
of  Malacca  he  fled  to  Batu  Hampar,  while  his 
son,  the  Prince  Alaedin,  built  a  stockade  at 
Pagoh.  Pagoh  was  soon  taken  by  the  Portu- 
guese. The  Malay  Princes  then  took  refuge 
for  a  time  in  Pahang,  after  which  they  estab- 
lished themselves  far  up  the  Johore  river,  where 
they  were  relatively  safe  from  attack.  Settle- 
ments far  up  a  river  are,  however,  of  very 
little  use  either  for  trade  or  piracy,  so — as 
the  Malays  regained  confidence — they  moved 
southwards  and  established  themselves  on  the 
island  of  Bintang,  Sultan  Mahmud  at  Tebing 
Tinggi  and  the  Prince  Alaedin  at  Batu  Pela- 
bohan.  This  Prince  Alaedin  had  been  raised 
to  sovereign  rank  and  bore  the  title  of  Sultan 
Ahmad  Shah,  to  the  great  confusion  of  historical 
records,  which  confuse  him  both  with  his 
father.  Sultan  Mahmud,  and  with  his  brother, 
who  afterwards  bore  the  name  of  Sultan 
Alaedin.  In  any  case  the  Sultan  Ahmad  died 
at  Batu  Pelabohan  and  was  buried  at  Bukit 
Batu  in  Bintang  ;  if  Malay  rumour  is  to  be 
believed,  he  was  poisoned  by  his  jealous 
father.  Sultan  Mahmud  then  installed  his 
younger  son  as  Raja  Muda,  but  did  not  confer 
on  him  'the  sovereign  dignity  borne  by  the 
murdered  Ahmad  Shah.  After  this,  the  Sultan 
moved  his  headquarters  to  Kopak.  There 
another  son  was  born  to  him,  this  time  by  his 
favourite  wife.  Tun  Fatimah,  the  daughter  of 
the  famous  Bendahara  who  had  so  bitterly 
opposed  Sequeira.  This  child  was  given  the 
title  of  Raja  Kechil  Besar,  and  was  afterwards 
allowed  (through  his  mother's  influence)  to 
take  precedence  of  his  elder  brother,  the  Raja 
Muda,  and  to  be  raised  to  sovereign  rank  as  the 
Sultan  Muda  or  Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  II. 
Meanwhile  the  Malay  settlement  at  Kopak  had 
increased  sufficiently  in  importance  to  attract 
the  notice  of  the  Portuguese.  In  1526  it  was 
surprised  by  the  Viceroy  Mascarenhas,  who 
utterly  destroj'ed  it.  Sultan  Mahmud,  again  a 
fugitive,  took  refuge  at  Kampar  in  Sumatra. 
By  a  high-handed  act  of  policy  the  Portuguese 
had  just,  abducted  the  ruler  of  Kampar  and  had 
thereby  incurred  the  deadly  hostiUty  of  the 
inhabitants  of  that  Sumatran  port.  The  aged 
Sultan  Mahmud  was  welcomed  and  was  recog- 
nised as  sovereign  in  the  absence  of  the  local 
chief.  He  died  shortly  afterwards,  leaving  the 
throne  to  his  son,  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  II. 
The  new  Sultan  was  not  left  in  peace  by  the 
Portuguese.  Driven  out  of  Kampar,  he  ulti- 
mately settled  at  a  place  on  the  Johore  river. 
He  died  there  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 
the  Raja  Muda  Perdana,  who  took  the  title  of 
Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  11.  This  Mudzafar 
Shah  established  himself  at  Seluyut  (Johore 
Lama)  but  he  had  outlying  stations  on  the 
trade  routes.  At  a  later  date  these  stations 
were  destined  to  become  important. 

The  Sultans  of  Perak  claim  descent  from  a 
"  Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah,"  an  elder  son  of  the 
Sultan  Mahmud  who  was  driven  from  Malacca 
by  the  Portuguese.  The  present  Sultan  of 
Perak  has  asserted  that  this  ''  Sultan  Mudzafar 
Shah"  went  to  Perak  because  he  had  been 
passed  over  for  the  succession  by  his  younger 
brother.  If  this  tradition  is  correct,  the 
"  Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah "  of  Perak  would 
not  be  the  poisoned  Alaedin  (Sultan  Ahmad 
Shah),  but  the  young  Raja  Muda,  who  was  set 

aside  by  his  father  in  favour  of  the  Raja  Kechil 
Besar,  afterwards  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  II. 
All  that  we  know  about  this  member  of  the 
royal  line  is  that  he  married  a  daughter  of 
Tun  Fatimah  by  her  first  husband.  Tun  Ali, 
and  that  he  had  a  son,  Raja  Mansur.  This 
accords  with  the  Perak  story  that  Sultan 
Mudzafar  Shah  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  a 
Sultan  Mansur  Shah.  The  following  table 
shov/s  the  line  of  descent 

in  the  sight  of  the  Malays.  From  this  time 
onwards  the  Dutch  came  constantly  to  Johore. 
Their  factor,  Jacob  Buijsen,  resided  continu- 
ously at  his  station  and  seems  to  have  done 
a  good  deal  to  turn  an  insignificant  fishing 
village  into  an  important  centre  of  trade  and 
political  influence.  In  this  work  of  develop- 
ment he  received  every  assistance  from  the 
Sultan's  brother,  Raja  Abdullah,  who  was 
anxious  to  make  a  definite  alliance  with  Holland 

Sultan  Mahmud  Shah 
(of  Malacca  and  Johore) 

(Sultan  Ahmad  Shah) 


"  Raja  Muda  " 

[Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  I. 

of  Perak) 


Raja  Mansur 

(Sultan  Mansur  Shah  I. 

of  Perak) 

Raja  Kechil  Besar 
{Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat 
Shah  II.  of  Johore) 

Raja  Muda  Perdana 

{Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  II. 

of  Johore) 

This  pedigree  would  go  to  prove  not  only 
that  the  Sultan  of  Perak  represents  the  senior 
line  of  the  oldest  Malay  dynasty,  but  also  that 
he  is  directly  descended  from  the  famous  line 
of  Bendaharas  whose  glories  are  the  subject 
of  the  "Sejarah  Melayu." 

Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  11.  seems  to  have 
reigned  in  comparative  peace  at  Johore.  The 
only  incident  of  any  importance  recorded 
about  him  was  his  secret  marriage  under 
rather  suspicious  circumstances  to  a  Pahang 
lady,  the  divorced  or  abducted  wife  of  one 
Raja  Omar  of  Pahang.  Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah 
did  not  live  long.  When  he  died  the  chiefs 
placed  his  son,  the  boy  Abdul  Jalil,  on  the 
throne.  The  new  sovereign,  Abdul  Jalil  Shah, 
suffered  great  tribulations  at  the  hands  of  the 
Portuguese,  who  burnt  Johore  Lama  and  drove 
him  to  the  upper  reaches  of  the  river,  where 
no  ships  could  follow  him.  He  settled  ulti- 
mately at  Batu  Sawar,  which  he  named  Makam 
Tauhid.  He  died  at  this  place,  leaving  two 
sons  (Raja  Mansur  and  Raja  Abdullah)  by  his 
principal  wife,  and  three  sons  (Raja  Hasan, 
Raja  Husain  and  Raja  Mahmud)  by  secondary 
wives.  It  is  said  that  the  last  three  became 
rulers  of  Siak,  Kelantan  and  Kampar  respec- 
tively. Raja  Mansur  succeeded  to  the  throne 
of  Johore  under  the  title  of  Alaedin  Riayat 
Shah  III.  It  was  in  the  reign  of  this  Alaedin 
Riayat  Shah  that  the  Dutch  and  English  first 
came  to  Johore. 


The  Dutch  Ascexdaxcv. 

About  the  end  of  a.d.  1602  a  Dutch  navi- 
gator of  the  name  of  Jacob  van  Heemskerck 
visited  Johore  and  left  a  factor  behind,  after 
satisfying  himself  that  the  factor's  life  was 
not  likely  to  be  endangered  by  any  peace 
between  the  Malays  and  the  Portuguese.  By 
doing  this  he  attracted  to  Johore  the  unwelcome 
attentions  of  the  Governor  of  Malacca,  who  at 
once  sent  a  few  small  vessels  to  blockade  the 
river.  However,  in  a.d.  1603  two  Dutch  ships 
that  came  to  visit  the  factor  drove  away  the 
Portuguese  flotilla  and  obtained  great  honour 

and  to  obtain  some  permanent  protection 
against  Portuguese  attack.  A  Malay  envoy 
was  actually  sent  to  Holland,  but  died  on 
the  journey,  and  no  treaty  was  made  till 
a.d.  1606,  'when  Admiral  Cornells  Matelief 
with  a  powerful  fleet  arrived  in  the  Straits  of 

The  Dutch  account  of  this  expedition  tells  us 
that  the  old  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  Shah  had  been 
a  great  fighter  and  had  waged  a  long  war 
against  the  Portuguese.  At  his  death  he  left 
four  sons.  The  eldest,  the  "  King  Yang-di- 
Pertuan  "  (Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  III.)  was  in 
the  habit  of  getting  up  at  noon  and  having  a 
meal,  after  which  he  drank  himself  drunk  and 
transacted  no  further  business.  His  second  son, 
the  King  of  Siak,  was  a  man  of  weak  character, 
who  rarely  visited  Johore.  His  third,  Raja 
Abdullah,  is  described  as  a  man  of  about  thirty- 
five  years  of  age,  fairly  intelligent,  far-sighted, 
quiet  m  disposition,  and  a  great  hand  at  driving 
hard  bargains.  The  fourth  brother,  Raja  Laut, 
is  depicted  as  "  the  greatest  drunkard,  murderer, 
and  scoundrel  of  the  whole  family.  .  .  All 
the  brothers  drink  except  Raja  Abdullah  ;  and 
as  the  rulers  are,  so  are  the  nobles  in  their 
train."  Such,  then,  were  the  men  whom  the 
Admiral  Cornells  Matelief  had  come  to  succour. 
But  we  must  not  condemn  these  men  too 
hastily.  The  Bendahara  or  prime  minister  of 
these  Princes  was  the  author  of  the  "  Annals," 
our  great  source  of  information  on  Malay  history. 
The  royal  drunkard,  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah,  was 
the  man  who  ordered  the  "Annals  "to  be  written. 
The  "  great  hand  at  driving  hard  bargains  "— 
Raja  Abdullah — is  the  patron  of  the  history : 
"Sultan  Abdullah  Maayat  Shah,  the  glory  of 
his  land  and  of  his  time,  the  chief  of  the 
assembly  of  true  believers,  the  ornament  of 
the  atrodes  of  the  Faithful — may  God  enhance 
his  generosity  and  his  dignities,  and  perpetuate 
his  just  government  over  all  his  estates." 
These  men  must  have  been  something  more 
than  mere  drunkards  ;  the  historian  has  reason 
to  be  grateful  to  them. 

On  May  14,  1606,  Admiral  Matelief  arrived 
off  the  Johore  river  and  received  a  friendly 
letter  of  greeting  from  Raja  Abdullah  ;  on  May 
17th  he  entertained  the  Prince  on  board  his 
iflagship.  The  interview  must  have  been 
amusing,  for  it  is  quite  clear  that  the  Dutch 



had  come  to  the  Straits  with  the  most  ex- 
aggerated ideas  about  the  greatness  of  Johore. 
On  boarding  the  Dutch  ship  Raja  Abdullah 
greeted  his  host  most  cordially  and  presented 
him  with  a  "golden  kris  studded  with  stones 
of  little  value."  In  welcoming  the  sailoi's  to 
Malay  waters,  the  Raja  prolonged  the  compli- 
ments to  such  an  extent  that  the  impatient 
Admiral  tried  to  lead  him  up  to  business  by 
a  pointed  inquiry  regarding  the  nature  and 
extent  of  the  help  that  might  be  expected  from 
Johore  if  the  Dutch  attacked  Malacca.  In  this 
matter,  however,  the  Prince  was  anxious  not 
to  commit  himself.  He  explained  that  he  was 
an  orang  miskin,  a  person  of  little  wealth  and 
importance,  subordinate  in  all  things  to  the 
will  of  his  royal  brother.  "  In  short,"  says  our 
angry  Dutch  chronicler,  "  all  the  information 
that  we  could  obtain  from  this  Prince  was  that 
he  was  a  very  poor  man  indeed  ;  had  he  been 
able  to  fight  the  Portuguese  by  himself,  would 
he  have  sent  to  Holland  for  assistance  ? " 
This  was  unanswerable.  The  Admiral  gave 
up  all  hope  of  obtaining  any  real  armed  assist- 
ance from  Johore. 

Nevertheless  a  treaty  was  signed.  It  is  the 
first  Dutch  treaty  with  Johore  and  is  dated 
May  17,  1606.     Its  terms  are  interesting. 

The  new  allies  began  by  agreeing  to  capture 
Malacca.  After  capturing  it,  they  were  to 
divide  up  the  spoil — the  city  was  to  go  to  the 
Dutch  and  the  adjoining  territories  to  the 
Malays,  but  the  Dutch  were  to  possess  the 
right  to  take  timber  from  the  nearest  Malay 
jungles  for  the  needs  of  the  tovi'n  and  its 
shipping.  The  permission  of  the  future  Dutch 
Governor  of  Malacca  was  to  be  obtained 
before  any  European  could  be  permitted  to 
land  on  Johore  territory. 

As  this  treaty  seemed  a  little  premature  until 
the  capture  of  Malacca  had  been  effected, 
Admiral  Matelief  set  out  at  once  to  carry  out 
that  portion  of  the  arrangement.  He  gained 
a  decisive  victory  over  the  Portuguese  fleet 
but  failed  to  take  the  town,  and  ultimately  gave 
up  the  enterprise  as  impracticable.  On  Sep- 
tember 23,  1606,  he  made  an  amended  treaty 
under  which  a  small  portion  of  Johore  territory 
was  ceded  to  the  Dutch  as  a  trading  station  in 
lieu  of  the  town  and  fort  of  Malacca,  the  rest 
of  the  treaty  remaining  the  same  as  before. 
After  concluding  this  agreement  he  sailed 
away,  and  only  returned  to  the  Malay  Pen- 
insula in  October,  1607,  when  he  visited  the 
factory  at  Palani.  He  then  found  that  a  com- 
plete change  had  come  over  the  position  of 
affairs  at  Johore.  The  Portuguese — having 
lost  the  command  of  the  sea — had  reversed 
their  policy  of  unceasing  hostility  to  native 
powers,  and  were  now  prepared  to  make  an 
alliance  with  the  Sultan.  The  Dutch  factor 
had  fled  to  Java,  and  the  Admiral  summed  up 
the  situation  in  a  letter  dated  January  4,  1608  : 
"  The  chief  King  drinks  more  than  ever  ;  the 
chiefs  are  on  the  side  of  the  Portuguese  ;  Raja 
Abdullah  has  no  power."  The  Dutch  East 
India  Company  had  invested  10,000  dollars  at 
Johore  and  63,000  dollars  at  Patani. 

Admiral  Matelief  could  do  very  little.  As 
he  had  sent  most  of  his  ships  home  and  was 
expecting  the  arrival  of  a  fleet  under  Admiral 
van  Caerden,  he  tried  to  induce  Admiral  van 
Caerden  to  change  his  course  and  threaten 

Johore,  but  he  was  too  late,  as  the  Admiral  had 
sailed  already  from  Java  on  his  way  to  the 
Moluccas  and  was  too  far  away  to  give  any 
assistance.  Nothing  could  be  done  till  the 
autumn.  In  the  end  a  Dutch  fleet  arrived 
under  Admiral  Verhoeff  to  bring  the  SuKan 
to  reason.  Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  seems 
to  have  defended  himself  by  the  very  logical 
argument  that  he  wished  to  be  at  peace  with 
everybody  and  that  Dutch  friendship,  to  be  of 
value,  should  accord  him  permanent  pro- 
tection. This  permanent  protection  was 
promised  him  by  a  new  treaty,  under  which 
the  Dutch  agreed  to  build  a  fort  at  Johore  and 
to  station  two  guardships  there  to  defend  the 
place  against  Portuguese  attack.  Having 
made  this  arrangement,  the  Admiral  sailed 
from  Johore  with  a  letter  from  the  Sultan 
begging  for  Dutch  aid  to  prosecute  a  personal 
quarrel  between  himself  and  the  Raja  of  Patani. 
In  fact,  nothing  could  have  been  more  fatuous 
than  the  policy  of  this  Alaedin  Riayat   Shah. 

Dutch  residents  in  the  factory.  The  Achinese 
did  not  treat  their  prisoners  very  harshly. 
The  Sultan  of  Achin — the  famous  Iskandar 
Muda  or  Mahkota  Alam — gave  his  sister  in 
marriage  to  Raja  Abdullah  and  even  joined 
Alaedin  in  the  convivial  bouts  that  were  so 
dear  to  the  Johore  Princes.  A  reconciliation 
was  effected.  On  August  25,  1614,  Alaedin 
Riayat  Shah  was  back  in  his  own  capital,  but 
he  does  not  seem  to  have  learned  much 
wisdom  from  his  stay  in  Achin.  Accused  of 
lukewarmness  in  helping  the  Achinese  in 
their  siege  of  Malacca,  he  brought  upon  him- 
self for  the  second  time  the  vengeance  of  the 
great  Mahkota  Alam.  Johore  was  again 
attacked — this  time  by  a  force  which  an  eye- 
witness, Admiral  Steven  van  der  Haghen, 
estimated  at  300  ships  and  from  30,000  to  40,000 
men.  Johore  was  taken,  but  the  Sultan  him- 
self escaped  to  Bintang.  Bintang  was  next 
attacked.  The  unfortunate  Sultan  received 
some  help  from  Malacca,  but  only  just  enough 


Surrounded  by  powerful  enemies,  he  was 
content  to  think  only  of  the  pleasures  and  of 
the  passions  of  the  moment,  leaving  all  graver 
matters  to  the  care  of  his  cautious  brother. 
Raja  Abdullah. 

In  A.D.  1610  the  marriage  of  the  Sultan's 
eldest  son  to  his  cousin,  the  daughter  of  the 
Raja  of  Siak,  led  to  a  complete  change  in  the 
attitude  of  the  fickle  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah 
towards  Raja  Abdullah  and  the  Dutch.  The 
Raja  of  Siak,  a  friend  of  the  Portuguese, 
became  the  real  power  behind  the  throne  of 
Johore.  Again,  as  in  1608,  the  Dutch  might 
well  have  written  :  "  The  King  drinks  more 
than  ever  ;  the  chiefs  are  on  the  side  of  the 
Portuguese  ;  the  Raja  Abdullah  has  no  power." 
But  vengeance  overtook  the  treacherous  Ala- 
edin from  a  most  unexpected  quarter.  On 
June  6,  1613,  the  Achinese,  who  were  at  war 
with  Malacca,  suddenly  made  a  raid  on  Johore, 
captured  the  capital,  and  carried  the  Sultan  off 
into  captivity  along  with  his  brother  Abdullah, 
the  chief    Malay  Court  dignitaries,    and    the 

to  seal  his  destruction.  He  was  now  unable 
either  to  repel  the  attack  of  his  enemies  or 
to  clear  himself  of  the  charge  of  allying  him- 
self with  the  Portuguese  infidel  against  whom 
Mahkota  Alam  was  waging  religious  war. 
Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  was  taken  prisoner  and 
died  very  shortly  afterwards  ;  tradition  has  it 
that  he  was  put  to  death  by  his  captors. 

Incidentally  it  may  be  observed  that  the 
"Malay  Annals,"  though  dated  a.d.  1612,  refer 
to  "the  late  Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah,  who 
died  in  Achin."  This  reference  shows  that 
the  book,  though  begun  in  A.D.  1612,  was  not 
actually  completed  till  some  years  later.  It 
is  very  much  to  be  regretted  that  the  Malay 
historian  should  have  confined  his  work  to  the 
records  of  the  past  and  should  have  given  us 
no  account  whatever  of  the  stirring  incidents 
in  which  he  personally,  as  Bendahara,  must 
have  played  a  most  prominent  part. 

Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  III.  was  suc- 
ceeded by  his  brother  Raja  Abdullah,  who 
took  the  title  of  Sultan  Abdullah  Maayat  Shah. 



The  new  ruler. possessed  many  good  qualities 
and  he  had  the  advantage  of  being  married  to 
a  sister  of  Mahkota  Alam,  but  was  extremely 
unfortunate  in  being  forced  to  contend  against 
so  jealous  a  "potentate  as  his  brother-in-law. 
He  seems  to  have  led  the  wandering  existence 
of  a  Pretender-King.  In  a.d.  1623  he  was  cer- 
tainly driven  out  of  the  island  of  Linggi  by 
an  Achinese  force.  In  A.D.  1634  the  Dutch 
records  speak  of  Pahang  and  Johore  as  being 
incorporated  in  the  kingdom  of  Achin.  No 
Dutch  ships  ever  visited  Abdullah  during  his 
sultanate  ;  no  Dutch  factors  were  ever  sta- 
tioned at  his  Court.  He  was  deserving  but 
unfortunate — a  mere  claimant  to  a  throne  that 
the  Achinese  would  not  permit  him  to  fill. 
He  died  in  a.d.  1637. 

He  was  succeeded — if  indeed  we  can  speak 
of  succession  to  so  barren  a  title — by  his 
nephew,  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  Shah  II.,  son_  of 
the  Sultan  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  III.  who  died  at 
Achin.  The  new  ruler  was  more  fortunate 
than  his  predecessor  in  that  the  Achinese 
power  was  now  on  the  wane.  The  mighty 
Mahkota  Alam,  the  most  powerful  and  most 
ambitious  of  the  rulers  of  Achin,  was  dead  ; 
his  sceptre  had  passed  into  the  hands  of 
women.  These  years — from  1637  onwards — 
may  be  considered  years  of  revival  among  the 
Malay  States  that  had  been  reduced  to  vassal- 
age by  Achin,  for  they  gave  a  new  lease  of 
life  to  the  kingdoms  of  Johore,  Pahang  and 
Perak.  In  a.d.  1639  the  Dutch,  who  were 
anxious  to  procure  native  assistance  for  the 
siege  of  Malacca,  made  overtures  to  the  Sultan. 
Possessing  the  command  of  the  sea,  they 
wanted  Malay  auxiliaries  to  assist  them  with 
supplies  and  transport  and  to  help  in  hem- 
ming in  the  Portuguese  by  land.  The  Dutch 
Admiral  Van  de  Veer  accordingly  entered  into 
an  agreement  with  Abdul  Jalil  Shah  and'  defi- 
nitely secured  him  as  an  ally  in  the  war 
against  Malacca.  This  time  the  Portuguese 
stronghold  was  captured  (a.d.  1641). 

In  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  military  com- 
manders at  Malacca  were  not  altogether  satis- 
fied with  the  help  given  them  by  their  Malay 
allies,  the  Dutch  civil  authorities  did  their  best 
to  show  gratitude  to  Johore  and  to  restore  it 
as  much  as  possible  to  its  old  position.  They 
arranged  peace  between  Johore  and  Achin, 
and  gave  various  other  assurances  of .  their 
goodwill  to  the  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  Shah.  We 
hear  of  various  complimentary  missions  being 
exchanged  between  Johore  and  Batavia  with- 
out much  practical  result.  What  else,  indeed, 
could  we  have  expected  ?  Johore  became 
useless  to  Holland  as  soon  as  the  capture  of 
Malacca  gave  the  Dutch  a  better  station  in  the 
Straits  than  the  old  trading  factory  of  Batu 
Sawar  had  ever  been.  Johore  had  no  indus- 
tries, no  trade,  no  productive  hinterland  ;  it 
was  bound  to  decline.  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  lived 
long  enough  to  see  a  great  calamity  overwhelm 
his  country.  A  quarrel  with  the  Sultan  of 
Jambi  led  in  a.d.  1673  to  a  war  in  which 
Johore  was  plundered  and  burnt  and  its  aged 
rulerdriven  into  exile.  The  death  of  the  old 
Sultan — who  did  not  long  survive  the  shock 
of  the  destruction  of  his  capital — brought  to  an 
end  the  direct  line  of  the  Johore  dynasty. 

He,  was  succeeded  by  a  cousin,  a  Pahang 
Prince  who  took  the  name  of  Sultan  Ibrahim 

Shah.  The  new  ruler's  energy  infused  fresh 
life  into  the  State  ;  he  established  himself  at 
Riau  in  order  to  carry  on  the  war  against  Jambi 
more  effectively  than  from  Johore  Lama  ;  he 
allied  himself  with  the  Dutch,  and  in  time 
succeeded  in  regaining  what  his  predeces- 
sor had  lost.  But  he  did  not  live  long.  On 
February  16,  1685,  he  died,  leaving  an  only 
son,  who  was  at  once  placed  on  the  throne 
under  the  title  of  Sultan  Mahmud  Shah.  As 
the  new  Sultan  was  a  mere  boy,  his  mother 
became  Regent,  but  she  allowed  all  real  power 
to  be  vested  in  the  Bendahara  Paduka  Raja, 
the  loyal  and  able  minister  of  her  late  husband, 
the  victorious  Sultan  Ibrahim.  She  was  wisely 
advised  in  so  doing.  Peace  was  assured  ;  the 
traditional  friendship  with  Holland  was  loyally 
kept  up  by  the  Bendahara  ;  internal  troubles 
of  all  kinds  were  avoided.  Unfortunately  the 
Bendahara  died,  and  his  headstrong  ward  took 
the  government  of  the  State  into  his  own  hands. 
In  a.d.  1691  we  hear  of  him  as  ruling  from 
Johore.  This  young  Sultan,  Mahmud  Shah  II., 
the  last  Prince  of  his  race — ruler  of  Pahang 
and  Riau  as  well  as  of  Johore — is  the  most 
mysterious  and  tragic  figure  in  Malay  history. 
He  was  said  to  be.the  victim  of  one  of  those 
terrible  ghostly  visitants,  a  Malay  vampire, 
the  spirit  of  a  woman  dead  in  childbirth  and 
full  of  vengeance  against  the  cause  of  her 
death.  He  is  accused,  by  Malay  traditions  from 
all  parts  of  the  peninsula,  of  having  slain  in 
the  most  fiendish  manner  those  of  his  wives 
who  had  the  misfortune  to  become  pregnant. 
Probably  he  was  mad  ;  but  no  form  of  madness 
could  have  been  more  dangerous  to  a  prince 
in  his  position.  The  frail  Hfe  of  this  insane 
and  hated  Sultan  was  the  only  thing  that  stood 
between  any  bold  conspirator  and  the  thrones 
of  Johore,  Pahang,  and  Linggi.  The  end 
came  in  a.d.  1699.  As  the  young  ruler  was 
being  carried  to  mosque  at  Kota  Tinggi  on  the 
shoulders  of  one  of  his  retainers  he  was  stabbed 
to  death.  All  Malay  tradition  ascribes  this 
assassination  to  the  Sultan's  minister,  the 
Bendahara  Sri  Maharaja,  head  of  the  great 
family  that  is  described  in  the  "  Malay  Annals  " 
as  glorying  in  the  tradition  of  fidelity  to  its 
Princes.  With  the  death  of  the  Sultan  Mahmud 
Shah  II.  the  dynasty  of  Malacca,  Johore,  and 
Pahang  disappears  from  the  page  of  history. 
In  the  records  of  this  long  line  of  Kings  the 
point  that  most  impresses  the  student  is  the 
curiously  personal  character  of  Malay  sove- 
reignty. In  Europe,  where  all  the  Continent 
is  divided  up  under  different  rulers,  there  is 
no  place  for  a  fallen  king  except  as  a  subject. 
In  the  thinly  pop'.ilated  Malay  world  the 
position  was  entirely  different.  So  long  as 
a  fugitive  prince  could  induce  a  few  followers 
to  share  his  lot,  he  could  always  find  some 
unoccupied  valley  or  river  in  which  to  set  up 
his  miniature  Court.  The  wandering  exile 
Raja  Abdullah  (a.d.  1615-37),  whose  movements 
cannot  be  traced  and  the  date  of  whose  death 
is  uncertain,  was  nevertheless  a  king — "  Sultan 
Abdullah  Maayat  Shah,  the  glory  of  his  land 
and  of  his  time."  He  was  born  in  the  purple. 
But  to  less  highly  born  adventurers  the 
acquisition  of  royal  rank,  as  distinct  from 
mere  power,  was  a  very  difficult  matter.  All 
Malay  popular  feeling  is  against  the  "  worm  " 
that  aspires  to  become  a  "  dragon."     If  a  bad 

harvest  or  a  murrain  or  any  other  misfortune 
had  overtaken  the  subjects  of  an  upstart  king, 
all  Malaya  would  have  explained  it  as  the 
Nemesis  that  waits  on  sacrilege,  the  result  of 
outraging  the  divine  majesty  of  kings.  Royalty 
was  a  mere  matter  of  caste,  but  a  great  Sultan 
might  create  minor  Sultans,  just  as  the  Emperor 
of  China  made  a  Sultan  of  the  Paramisura 
Muhammad  Shah,  or  as  Sultan  Mansur  Shah 
divided  his  dominions  between  his  sons,  or  as 
Sultan  Mahmud  Shah  I.  gave  sovereign  rank  to 
his  son  Ahmad  Shah,  or  as  Queen  Victoria  may 
be  said  to  have  created  the  sultanates  of  Johore 
and  Pahang.  Titular  dignity  was  one  thing  ; 
real  authority  was  another.  Powerful  de  facto 
rulers  such  as  (in  recent  times)  the  Bendahara 
of  Pahang,  the  Temenggong  of  Johore  and  the 
Dato'  of  Rembau,  and  great  territorial  magnates 
like  the  Maharaja  Perba  of  Jelai,  were  kings 
in  all  except  the  name.  The  glamour  of  titles 
and  of  royal  descent  is  so  great  that  it  often 
obscures  realities.  The  Dutch  when  they 
negotiated  their  treaty  with  the  Sultan  of 
Achin  found,  when  too  late,  that  he  was 
Sultan  in  rank  only,  not  .in  power.  The 
sympathy  that  has  been  lavished  upon  the 
dispossessed  princely  house  of  Singapore  is 
based  upon  a  misconception  of.  the  meaning 
of  Malay  "  royalty."  Royal  rank  meant  prestige, 
position,  influence — the  things  that  lead  to 
power.  Royal  rank  was  a  great  thing  in 
Malay  eyes  and  justified  the  attention  that  they 
devoted  to  pedigrees  and  to  the  discussion  of 
the  relative  importance  of  the  articles  that  made 
up  a  king's  regalia.  But  the  student  of  Malay 
things  who  mistakes  mere  rank  for  power  will 
constantly  be  surprised  to  find,  as  Admiral 
Matelief  was  astonished  to  discover,  that  a 
Malay  Prince  is  often  an  orang  miskin — a  very 
poor  person  indeed  ! 

Immediately  after  the  death  of  the  unhappy 
Mahmud  Shah,  his  murderer,  the  Bendahara 
Sri  Maharaja,  ascended  the  throne  of  Johore 
and  Pahang  under  the  title  of  Sultan  Abdul 
Jalil  Riayat  Shah.  Like  most  Princes  who 
obtain  a  crown  by  violence,  he  found  that  his 
position  was  one  of  ever-growing  danger  from 
malcontents  at  home  and  enemies  abroad. 
Two  new  disturbing  forces  had  entered  the 
arena  of  Malayan  politics.  The  first  was  the 
great  Menangkabau  immigration  ;  the  second 
was  the  continued  presence  of  Bugis  fleets  and 
colonies  on  the  peninsula  coast.  A  constant 
stream  of  industrious  Sumatran  Malays  had  for 
some  time  past  been  pouring  into  the  inland 
district  now  known  as  the  Negri  Sambilan. 
These  men,  being  very  tenacious  of  their  own 
tribal  rights  and  customs,  resented  any  inter- 
ference from  Johore.  The  Bugis  were  even 
more  dangerous.  They  were  more  warlike  and 
more  energetic  than  the  Malays  ;  they  built 
bigger  ships  ;  they  were  ambitious,  and  they 
seemed  anxious  to  get  a  firm  footing  in  the 
country.  In  A.D.  1713  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  Riayat 
Shah  tried  to  strengthen  his  position  by  a 
closer  alliance  with,  the  Dutch  ;  but  such  a 
policy,  though  it  might  assist  him  against 
foreign  foes,  was  of  very  little  avail  against  the 
enemies  of  his  own  household.  In  a.d.  1617 
(or  a  little  earlier)  an  incident  occurred  that 
may  be  described  as  one  of  the  more  extra- 
ordinary events  in  Malay  history.  A  Menang- 
kabau adyenturer  calling  himself  Raja  K^chil 



appeared  in  Johore.  He  gave  himself  out  to  be 
a  postliumous  son  of  the  murdered  Mahmud 
Shah  and  stirred  up  a  revolution  in  the  capital. 
But  the  strangest  part  of  the  incident  was  its 
termination.  The  upstart  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil 
Riayat  Shah  consented  to  revert  to  his  old 
position  of  Bendahara  Sri  Maharaja  and  to 
serve  under  the  impostor,  Raja  Kfchil,  whose 
claims  he  must  have  known  to  be  false.  To 
cement  this  alliance  between  murder  and  fraud 
the  ex-Sultan  agreed  to  give  his  daughter, 
Tengku  Tengah,  in  marriage  to  the  new  Sultan, 
who  took  the  name  of  Abdul  Jalil  Rahmat 

It  is  difficult  to  exactly  trace  the  course  of 
events  after  this  point  because  we  have  two 
Malay  partisan  histories  written  from  opposite 
points  of  view.  One  history  accepts  this  Raja 
Kechil  as  a  true  son  of  the  murdered  Sultan 
Mahmud  ;  the  other  treats  him  as  a  scoundrel 
and  an  impostor,  and  makes  a  martyr  of  the 
deposed  assassin,  Sultan  Abdul  Jalil  Riayat 
Shah.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  Benda- 
hara's  relatives  conspired  with  the  Bugis 
against  their  new  master,  but  the  details  of 
the  plot  are  not  very  clear.  According  to  one 
account  ^.a  woman's  jealousy  provoked  the 
trouble.  Raja  Kechil  had  jilted  Tgngku  Tengah 
in  order  to  marry  her  younger  sister,  Tengku 
Kamariah.  This  little  change  in  the  original 
plan  did  not  injure  the  Bendahara,  but  it  made 
a  great  deal  of  difference  to  the  ambitious 
Tengku  Tengah  and  caused  further  dissension 
in  a  family  that  was  already  divided  by  personal 
jealousies.  As  the  children  of  the  Bendahara 
who  were  born  after  his  accession  to  the  throne 
denied  that  their  elder  brothers,  who  were 
born  before  their  father  became  a  king,  had 
any  right  to  call  themselves  princes,  it  is 
not  surprising  that  intrigues  and  conspiracies 
should  have  been  begun.  It  happened  that 
there  was  at  this  time  in  Johore  a  Bugis  adven- 
turer named  Daeng  Parani.  Tengku  Sulaiman, 
eldest  son  of  the  Bendahara,  went  to  this  man 
and  appealed  to  him  for  help  in  overthrowing 
the  upstart  Raja  Kfichil.  Daeng  Parani  hesi- 
tated ;  the  odds  against  him  were  too  great. 
TSngku  Sulaiman  then  tried  to  win  over  the 
Bugis  adventurer  by  promising  him  the  hand 
of  his  sister,  Tengku  Tengah,  in  marriage. 
Daeng  Parani  again  refused.  At  this  juncture 
Tengku  Tengah  herself  came  forward  and 
made  a  personal  appeal  to  the  love  and  chivalry 
of  the  Bugis  chief.  Daeng  Parani  now  con- 
sented to  act.  With  great  boldness — for  he 
had  only  a  handful  of  men  in  the  heart  of  a 
hostile  capital — he  surrounded  the  Sultan's 
residence  and  endeavoured  to  slay  Raja  Kechil 
and  to  abduct  Tfingku  Kamariah.  He  was 
only  partially  successful  ;  the  Sultan  escaped. 
Daeng  Parani  fled  to  Selangor,  leaving  his 
fellow-conspirators  behind.  Tengku  Sulaiman 
and  Tengku  Tengah  fled  to  Pahang.  The  aged 
Bendahara,  father  of  Tengku  Sulaiman  and 
Tengku  Tengah,  feeling  that  he  would  be 
suspected  of  having  taken  a  part  in  the  con- 
spiracy, followed  his  children  in  their  flight, 
but  was  overtaken  and  murdered  at  Kuala 
Pahang.  He  is  the  Sultan  known  as  marhum 
kuala  Pahang.  Tengku  Sulaiman,  however, 
managed  to  make  good  his  escape  and  ulti- 
mately joined  his  Bugis  friends. 

After  these  incidents  Raja  Kechil — or  Abdul 

Jalil  Rahmat  Shah  as  he  styled  himself — 
abandoned  Johore  Lama,  the  scene  of  so  many 
misfortunes  to  Malay  Kings,  and  made  a  new 
capital  for  himself  at  Riau.  He  carried  on 
with  great  courage  and  success  a  desultory 
war  against  the  Bugis,  but  was  ultimately  out- 
manoiuvred  and  lost  his  position  as  Sultan  of 
Johore,  because  the  Bugis  ships,  having  enticed 
the  Malay  fleet  to  Kuala  Linggi,  doubled  back 
during  the  night  and  suddenly  appeared  before 
Riau.  In  the  absence  of  its  King  and  his 
followers,  Riau  could  offer  no  resistance.  The 
Bugis  proclaimed  Tengku  Sulaiman  Sultan  of 
Johore  under  the  title  of  Sultan  Sulaiman 
Badru'l-alamShah.  The  principal  Bugis  chief, 
Daeng  Merowah  (or  Klana  Jaya  Putra)  became 
"Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda"  of  Riau,  with  the  title 
of  Sultan  Alaedin  Shah,  while  another  Bugis 
chief,  Daeng  Manompo,  became  "  Raja  tua  " 
under  the  title  of  Sultan  Ibrahim  Shah.  This 
seems  to  have  occurred  on  October  22, 
A.D.  1721,  but  the  formal  investiture  only  took 
place  on  October  4,  1722.  To  strengthen  their 
position,  the  Bugis  chiefs  allied  themselves  in 
marriage  with  the  Malays.  Daeng  Manompo 
married  Tun  Tepati,  aunt  of  Sultan  Sulaiman  ; 
Daeng  Merowah  maiTied  Inche'  Ayu,  daughter 
of  the  ex-Temenggong  Abdul  Jalil  and  widow 
of  the  murdered  Sultan  Mahmud  ;  Daeng 
Parani  had  married  Tengku  Tengah  ;  and 
Daeng  Chelak  sought  to  marry  Tengku  Ka- 
mariah, the  captured  wife  of  Raja  Kechil. 
Other  Bugis  chiefs — Daeng  Sasuru  and  Daeng 
Mengato — married  nieces  of  Sultan  Sulaiman. 

As  the  Bugis  accounts  of  the  Raja  Kechil 
incident  differ  very  materially  from  the  Malay 
version,  we  can  hardly  hope  to  get  a  thoroughly 
reliable  history  of  the  events  that  led  to  the 
establishment  of  Bugis  kingdoms  in  the  Straits 
of  Malacca.  We  may,  however,  consider  it 
certain  that  Raja  Kechil  was  not  a  posthumous 
son  of  Sultan  Mahmud  Shah.  Dutch  records 
prove  that  Raja  Kechil  was  an  extremely  old 
man  in  A.D.  1745  ;  they  even  provide  strong 
evidence  that  he  was  fifty-three  years  of  age 
when  he  seized  the  throne  of  Johore.  He 
must  therefore  have  been  an  older  man  than 
the  Prince  whom  he  claimed  as  his  father.  In 
all  probability  Raja  Kechil  won  his  kingdom  by 
mere  right  of  conquest,  supplanting  a  murderer 
who  was  quite  ready  to  give  up  an  untenable 
throne  and  to  take  a  secure  position  as  Benda- 
hara under  a  strong  ruler.  In  later  years,  when 
the  Malays  became  savagely  hostile  to  their 
Bugis  masters,  they  were  doubtless  ready  to  ac- 
cept any  tale  and  to  follow  a  Menangkabau 
ruler,  who  was  at  least  a  Malay,  in  preference 
to  the  Bugis  pirates  and  their  miserable  tool. 
Sultan  Sulaiman  Shah.  But  when  Raja  Kechil 
died  the  Malays  rallied  to  the  side  of  his 
younger  son  (who  had  a  royal  Malay  mother) 
and  treated  the  elder  son  as  a  mere  alien  with- 
out any  claim  to  the  throne.  The  murder  at 
Kota  Tinggi  in  A.D.  1699  had  divided  the  alle- 
giance of  the  Malay  world  and  contributed 
greatly  to  the  success  of  the  Bugis.  It  was 
only  at  the  close  of  the  eighteenth  century 
that  the  old  Johore  communities  again  recog- 
nised a  common  ruler. 

The  Bugis  chiefs  at  Riau  paid  very  little 
attention  to  the  puppet-Sultans  that  they  set 
up.  They  so  exasperated  Sultan  Sulaiman 
that  he   soon   left    his   sultanate  and    fled  to 

Kampar.  After  this  incident  the  Bugis  felt 
that  they  had  gone  too  far,  and  they  made  a 
new  treaty  with  their  titular  sovereign  and 
induced  him  to  return  to  Riau.  It  should  be 
understood  that  even  with  Sultan  Sulaiman's 
help  the  Bugis  position  at  Riau  was  very  in- 
secure. Raja  Kechil,  who  had  established 
himself  at  Siak,  gained  many  victories  and  re- 
peatedly attacked  his  enemies  in  their  very 
capital.  In  a.d.  1727  he  even  abducted  his 
wife,  Tengku  Kamariah,  who  was  held  captive 
at  Riau  itself.  In  a.d.  1728,  with  the  aid  of 
Palembang  troops,  he  laid  siege  to  Riau  and 
was  repulsed.  In  a.d.  1729  the  Bugis  block- 
aded Siak  and  were  repulsed  in  their  turn. 
The  history  of  the  whole  of  this  period  of  Bugis 
activity  (1721-85)  is  extremely  involved,  but 
it  is  fully  discussed  in  Dutch  works,  especially 
in  the  thirty-fifth  volume  of  the  Transactions 
of  the  Batavian  Society.  We  can  only  briefly 
refer  to  it. 

The  policy  of  the  Dutch — so  far  as  their 
general  unwillingness  to  interfere  allowed  of 
any  policy — was  that  of  supporting  the  Malays 
against  the  restless  and  piratical  Bugis.  It  was 
a  difficult  policy,  this  assistance  of  the  weak 
against  the  strong,  but  it  proved  successful  in 
the  end.  Looking  at  it  in  the  light  of  ultimate 
results,  we  can  compare  two  exactly  similar 
situations,  one  in  1756  and  the  other  in  1784, 
and  notice  the  difference  in  treatment.  On 
both  occasions  Malacca  was  attacked. 

On  the  first  occasion  the  Dutch,  after  re- 
pelling the  attack  on  their  fortress,  allied 
themselves  with  the  Malays  (Sultan  Sulaiman, 
his  son  the  Tengku  BSsar,  and  his  son-in-law 
the  Sultan  of  Trengganu),  and  forced  the  Bugis 
to  come  to  terms  (a.d.  1757)  and  to  acknow- 
ledge the  Sultan  of  Johore  as  their  lawful 
sovereign.  This  plan  did  not  work  well,  as 
Sultan  Sulaiman  had  great  difficulty  in  en- 
forcing his  authority.  To  make  matters  worse, 
his  death  (August  20,  1760)  occurred  at  a  time 
when  his  eldest  son,  the  Tengku  BSsar,  was 
on  a  mission  to  the  Bugis  Princes  of  Linggi 
and  Selangor.  If  Malay  records  are  to  be 
believed,  the  Bugis  chief,  Daeng  Kamboja, 
was  not  a  man  to  waste  an  opportunity.  He 
poisoned  the  Tengku  Besar  and  then  took  his 
body,  with  every  possible  manifestation  of 
grief,  back  to  Riau  to  be  buried.  At  the  burial 
he  proclaimed  the  Tengku  Besar's  young  son 
Sultan  of  Johore  under  the  title  of  Sultan 
Ahmad  Riayat  Shah,  but  he  also  nominated 
himself  to  be  Regent.  When  the  unhappy 
boy-King  was  a  little  older,  and  seemed  likely 
to  take  the  government  into  his  own  hands, 
he  too  was  poisoned,  so  as  to  allow  a  mere 
child,  his  brother.  Sultan  Mahmud  Riayat  Shah, 
to  be  made  Sultan  and  to  prolong  the  duration 
of  the  Regency.  The  Dutch  plan  of  securing 
Malay  ascendancy  had  completely  failed. 

On  the  second  occasion  (when  Raja  Haji 
attacked  Malacca  in  1784)  the  Dutch,  after 
repelling  the  attack  and  killing  the  Bugis 
chief,  followed  up  their  success  by  driving  the 
Bugis  out  of  Riau  and  recognising  the  young 
Malay  Sultan  Mahmud  Riayat  Shah  as  the 
ruler  of  Johore.  But  on  this  occasion  they  felt 
that  they  could  not  trust  any  native  dynasty  to 
maintain  permanent  peace.  They  accordingly 
made  a  treaty  with  the  Sultan,  and  stationed 
a  Resident  with  a  small  Dutch  garrison  at  Riau. 



This  plan  did  not  work  very  well  at  first  ;  it 
pleased  neither  the  Bugis  nor  the  Malay  chiefs. 
The  fifth  Bugis  "Yamtuan  Muda "  attacked 
I^iau  ;  the  Malay  Sultan  fled  from  his  capital 
to  get  up  a  coalition  against  the  Dutch  ;  even 
the  Ilanun  pirates  made  an  attack  upon  the 
place.  In  time,  however,  when  the  various 
chiefs  came  to  recognise  that  the  glories  of 
independence  were  not  sufficient  compensation 
for  losing  the  creature-comforts  of  security 
and  peace,  both  the  Sultan  Mahmud  Shah 
and  the  Bugis  Yamtuan  Muda  settled  down 
definitely  at  Riau  and  accepted  the  part  of 
dependent  Princes. 

The  following  pedigree  shows  the  branches 
of  the  Bugis  family  that  ruled  in  the  Straits. 

derived  a  considerable  portion  of  their  slender 
revenue  from  piracy.  Generally,  the  condition 
of  the  country  was  anarchical.  There  was 
little  trade  and  less  agriculture,  and  the  popu- 
lation was  very  scanty.  The  Dutch  had  a 
great  opportunity  of  extending  their  influence 
throughout  the  peninsula,  but  they  lacked  the 
conciliatory  qualities  which  are  essential  in 
dealing  with  so  proud  and  highly  intellectual 
a  people  as  the  Malays.  Their  power,  such  as 
it  was,  was  greatly  shaken  by  a  "  regrettable 
occurrence  "  in  Selangor  in  1785  which  dimmed 
the  lustre  of  their  laurels.  The  State,  as  we 
have  seen,  was  settled  in  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury by  a  Bugis  colony  from  the  Celebes,  and 
at  the  period  named  it  was  under  the  govern- 

Upu  Tanderi  Burong 
(a  Bugis  chief) 

I  I  .1 

Daeng  Perani  Daeng  Merowah,  Daeng  Chelak, 

(died  1725  A.D.)        Klana  Jaya  Putra,  Sultan  Alaedin        Sultan  Alaedin  Shah  II. 

Shah  I.  (First  Yang-di-Pertuan     (Second  Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda 

Muda  of  Riau,  1721-28) 

Daeng  Kamboja, 

Sultan  Alaedin  Shah  III. 

(Third  Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda, 



Raja  Ali 

(Fifth  Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda) 

Sultan  Mahmud  Riayat  Shah  of  Johore  died 
in  the  year  1812  A.D.,  leaving  two  sons, 
Tfngku  Husain  and  Tengku  Abdurrahman. 
The  latter  was  at  once  proclaimed  Sultan  by 
the  Bugis  Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda  of  Riau. 
Tengku  Husain,  who  was  absent  in  Pahang 
at  the  time  of  his  father's  death,  returned  to 
Riau,  but  appears  to  have  made  no  effective 
protest  against  his  younger  brother's  accession. 
Sultan  Abdurrahman  was  recognised  as  Sultan 
of  Johore  and  Pahang  by  both  the  Dutch  and 
the  English  until  January,  1819,  when  it  suited 
Sir  Stamford  Raffles  to  repudiate  that  recog- 
nition and  to  accord  to  Tengku  Husain  the 
title  of  Sultan  of  Johore.  From  this  time  the 
line  of  Sultans  divides  into  two,  one  branch 
reigning  under  Dutch  protection  in  the  island 
of  Linggi,  the  other  living  under  British  pro- 
tection in  the  town  of  Singapore  itself. 

Raja  Lumu, 
Sultan  Selaheddin  Shah 
(First  Sultan  of  Selangor) 

of  Riau,  1728-45) 


Raja  Haji 
(Fourth  Yang-di-Pertuan  Muda 
of  Riau,  1777-84) 


The  Early  British  Connection  with  the 

When  the  British  occupied  Pinang  at  the 
close  of  the  eighteenth  century  the  situation 
on  the  mainland  was  a  confused  one.  The 
Dutch  held  Malacca,  and  their  power  extended 
over  Naning,  and  to  a  less  extent  over  Rem- 
bau  and  the  Negri  Sambilan,  and  they  had 
a  factory  in  Selangor  which  they  utilised  for 
the  enforcement  of  their  tin  monopoly.  In 
the  north  were  the  Siamese  hovering  about  the 
confines  of  Kedah  and  menacing  Trengganu 
and  Kelantan.  The  separate  States  were  ruled 
by  chiefs  whose  power  was  despotically  exer- 
cised, and  who,  in  the  majority  of  instances, 

ment  of  Sultan  Ibrahim,  a  sturdy  chief  who 
commanded  a  great  reputation  amongst  the 
people  of  the  area.  In  1784  the  Sultan,  with  his 
ally  the  Muda  of  Riau,  Raja  Haji,  attacked 
Malacca,  plundered  and  burned  the  suburbs 
of  the  city,  and  would  probably  have  com- 
pleted the  conquest  of  the  place  but  for  the 
timely  arrival  in  the  roads  of  a  Dutch  fleet 
under  Admiral  Von  Braam.  The  Dutch  suc- 
ceeded in  defeating  the  combined  forces,  and 
later  carried  the  war  into  the  enemy's  country. 
But  Sultan  Ibrahim,  deeming  discretion  the 
better  part  of  valour,  fled  to  Pahang,  leaving 
the  Dutch  to  occupy  Selangor  without  opposi- 
tion. Subsequently  Ibrahim  crossed  the  penin- 
sula from  Pahang  with  about  two  thousand 
followers,  and  made  a  night  attack  on  the 
Dutch  fort  on  June  27,  1785.  Panic-stricken, 
the  Dutch  garrison  abandoned  their  fort  in  a 
disgraceful  manner,  leaving  behind  them  all 
their  heavy  artillery,  ammunition,  and  a  con- 
siderable amount  of  property.  The  Dutch 
threatened  reprisals,  and  Ibrahim  made  peace 
with  them  by  restoring  the  plunder  and 
acknowledging  the  suzerainty  of  the  Nether- 
lands East  India  Company.  The  chief,  how- 
ever, was  never  reconciled  to  the  connection, 
and  he  made  repeated  overtures  to  the  authori- 
ties of  Pinang  for  the  extension  of  British 
protection  to  his  State. 

When  Malacca  was  handed  back  to  the 
Dutch  in  1818,  under  the  terms  of  the  Treaty 
of  Vienna,  there  was,  as  we  have  already  noted, 
a  feeling  of  alarm  excited  amongst  the  British 
community  at  Pinang.  Not  only  was  the  retro- 
cession regarded  as  in  itself  a  serious  blow  to 
British  prestige,  but  there  were  apprehensions 
that  the  re-establishment  of  the  Dutch  at  this 
fine  strategical  centre  would  effectually  pre- 
vent the  extension  of  British  influence  in  the 

peninsula.  The  Pinang  merchants  on  June  8, 
1818,  wrote  to  the  Government  on  the  subject 
of  the  desirability  of  the  adoption  of  a  more 
active  poHcy  in  the  Malay  peninsula.  In  the 
course  of  their  communication  they  adverted 
to  the  extensive  commercial  intercourse  then 
carried  on  by  British  subjects  from  Pinang 
with  Perak,  Selangor,  Riau,  Cringore  and 
Pontiana,  and  other  ports  in  Borneo,  and  ex- 
pressed apprehension  that  the  Dutch  on 
reoccupying  Malacca  would  endeavour  to 
make  exclusive  treaties  with  the  chiefs  of 
those  States  very  detrimental  to  British  trade. 
They  therefore  earnestly  pressed  the  Governor 
(Colonel  Bannerman)  to  lose  no  time  in  en- 
deavouring to  enter  into  friendly  alliance 
with  the  chiefs  of  these  countries,  which 
would  secure  for  British  merchants  equal 
privileges  with  those  of  the  subjects  of  other 
nations.  The  Government,  acting  promptly 
upon  the  suggestion,  despatched  Mr.  Cracroft, 
Malay  translator  to  the  Government,  to  the 
adjoining  States  of  Perak  and  Selangor  for  the 
purpose  of  forming  treaties  which  would  at 
least  prevent  a  monopoly  on  the  part  of  the 
Dutch,  and  secure  for  Pinang  a  fair  partici- 
pation in  the  general  trade  of  the  States- 
There  was  at  the  time  war  raging  between 
Kedah  and  Perak  over  the  question  of  the  des- 
patch of  a  token  of  homage  by  the  latter  to  the 
Siam  Court.  Mr.  Cracroft  was  instructed  by 
the  short-sighted  autocrat  of  Pinang  to  urge 
submission  to  the  demand,  and  as  the  Perak 
people  were  little  disposed  to  yield,  his 
mission  was  for  a  time  imperilled  by  the 
attitude  he  assumed.  Eventually,  however, 
by  clever  diplomacy,  he  managed  to  obtain 
the  desired  treaty.  Proceeding  to  Selangor, 
Mr.  Cracroft  concluded  a  similar  treaty  there. 

At  or  about  this  time  efforts  were  made  by 
the  Pinang  Government  to  revive  the  tin 
trade,  which  had  greatly  suffered  by  the 
transfer  of  the  island  of  Banca  to  the  Dutch. 
A  reference  has  been  made  to  this  in  the 
Pinang  section  of  the  work,  but  a  more  ex- 
tended account  of  the  transactions  may  be 
given  here.  The  movement  was  prompted 
by  offers  from  the  Sultans  of  Perak,  Selangor, 
and  Patani  to  furnish  supplies  of  the  product. 
The  Sultan  of  Perak  was  especially  friendly. 
As  far  back  as  1816  he  not  only  made  an  offer 
to  the  Government  of  a  tin  monopoly,  but 
tendered  also  the  island  of  Pangkor  and  the 
Dinding  district  on  the  mainland  for  the  trifling 
consideration  of  2,000  dollars  a  year.  This 
Sultan  was  the  same  chief  who  expelled  the 
Dutch  from  Selangor  in  1785.  In  these  favour- 
able circumstances  Mr.  John  Anderson  was 
despatched  with  full  powers  to  negotiate 
with  the  chiefs  named  for  the  re-establish- 
ment of  the  trade. 

In  conformity  with  his  instructions,  Mr. 
Anderson  proceeded  to  the  States  of  Perak, 
Selangor,  and  Colong.  An  interesting  rela- 
tion of  what  befel  him  is  given  in  a  pamphlet 
he  issued  some  years  later  under  the  title  of 
"Observations  on  the  Restoration  of  Banca 
and  Malacca."  From  this  we  may  sum- 
marise the  facts.  Despite  the  circumstance 
that  Perak  was  in  a  state  of  anarchy  at 
the  time  of  his  arrival,  the  result  of  his 
mission  was  by  no  means  unfavourable  even 
there,  while  at  Selangor  and  Colong,  although 



considerable  difficulties  were  encountered,  the 
objects  attained  fully  realised  the  expectations 
formed,  an  engagement  having  been  made 
for  1,500  piculs  of  tin  annually  to  the  Com- 
pany at  the  low  price  of  43  dollars  per  bahar, 
which  was  considerably  less  than  expected. 
The  contract  was  a  perpetual  one,  but  it 
appeared  to  Mr.  Anderson  that  the  establish- 
ment of  native  agents  at  the  different  States, 
as  had  been  suggested  by  a  Committee  which 
had  sat  in  Pinang  before  he  left,  would  not 
only  be  ineffectual  for  the  purposes  intended, 
but  involve  a  heavy  expense  without  any  corre- 
sponding benefit,  and  be  much  less  adapted  for 
the  purpose  of  extending  and  encouraging  the 
tin  trade  than  the  formation  of  a  small  factory 
at  an  island  near  the  chief  port  where  the  tin 
was  procured,  to  which  natives  of  their  own 
accord  would  resort  for  the  sale  of  tin.  He 
consequently  recommended  the  establishment 
of  a  factory  on  the  island  of  Pangkor,  near  the 
Bindings,  and  distant  from  the  Perak  river 
about  12  miles.  It  was  pointed  out  by  Mr, 
Anderson  that  tlie  island  was  peculiarly  well 
situated  for  the  contemplated  purpose.  It 
abounded  in  canes,  rattans,  wood-oil,  dammar, 
and  crooked  timber  for  ships.  The  water  was 
particularly  excellent,  the  harbour  safe,  and  in 
fine  the  island  possessed  almost  every  advan- 
tage that  could  be  desired  for  the  purpose 
stated.  Independently  of  its  occupation  being 
important  in  a  commercial  sense,  it  would,  he 
pointed  out,  be  the  means  of  preventing  pirates 
resorting  there,  as  they  had  been  in  the  habit 
of  doing.  The  Government  at  Pinang  approved 
the  scheme,  and  obtained  the  sanction  of  the 
Supreme  Government  to  establish  a  factory  at 
Pangkor,  "  provided  a  cession  of  the  island 
could  be  obtained  from  a  power  competent 
to  grant  it,  and  there  was  no  probability  of 
difficulties  afterwards  arising  as  to  the  legality 
of  the  occupation."  The  circumstances  were 
not  immediately  favourable  for  the  execution 
of  the  plan  suggested  by  Mr.  Anderson.  The 
Sultan  of  Perak  had  long  claimed  the  island  as 
a  dependency  of  that  State,  but  the  Sultan  of 
Selangor  had,  with  more  propriety,  made  a 
similar  claim,  and  his  son  was  in  fact  in 
possession  of  the  island  and  part  of  the  main- 
land district  known  as  the  Bindings.  Mean- 
while, the  Sultan  of  Kedah,  having  invaded 
Perak  territory,  was  disposed  to  regard  it  as 
his  by  right  of  conquest.  To  this  potentate 
Mr.  Anderson  applied  in  January,  18 19,  for  the 
cession  of  the  island,  and  for  permission  to 
allow  his  chiefs  to  continue  disposing  of  the 
tin  collected  to  the  British  agents  in  Perak. 
The  Sultan  of  Kedah  replied  that  he  could  not 
comply,  as  he  was  under  the  authority  of 
Siara,  and  pending  a  communication  from  the 
King  of  Siam  as  to  how  matters  were  to  be 
settled  he  could  do  nothing.  While  these 
negotiations  were  proceeding  -the  Government 
of  Pinang  had  been  taking  steps  to  forward  the 
tin  trade  with  Patani.  Their  operations  were, 
however,  hampered  by  the  Sultan  of  Kedah's 
agents,  and  were  ultimately  completely  nulli- 
fied by  the  imposition  of  what  was  practically 
a  prohibitive  export  duty.  Shortly  afterwards 
a  new  complication  was  introduced  into  the 
tangled  thread  of  Perak  politics  by  the  intru- 
sion of  a  Butch  mission  into  the  territory  with 
the    object    of    founding  a  settlement    there. 

Both  the  Kedah  and  the  Perak  people  were 
extremely  averse  to  the  Dutch  designs,  and 
an  urgent  representation  in  favour  of  inviting 
British  interference  was  made  by  the  Benda- 
liara  of  Perak  to  the  Sultan  of  Kedah.  The 
withdrawal  of  the  Butch  mission  to  Malacca 
relieved  the  situation,  and  nothing  came  of 
the  proposal  immediately.  But  two  months 
later,  when  the  Kedah  forces  evacuated  Perak, 
the  Bendahara  wrote  to  Mr.  Anderson  offering 
to  enter  into  -t  treaty  with  him  for  the  supply 
of  tin.  The  Butch  Government  about  this 
time  sent  an  embassy  to  Selangor  and  in- 
sisted upon  the  King  renewing  an  obsolete 
treaty  which  prejudiced  British  interests. 
The  Sultan  promptly  communicated  the  fact 
to  Pinang,  and  at  the  same  time  expressed  his 
desire  to  fulfil  his  engagements,  In  June  Mr. 
Cracroft  was  despatched  again  to  Colong  and 
Selangor,  and  on  his  return  availed  himself  of 
the  opportunity  of  bringing  up  310  bahars  of 
tin  which  were  ready  for  Mr.  Anderson. 

The  death  of  Colonel  Bannerman  rendered  it 
expedient  to  suspend  the  execution  of  the  con- 
tract with  the  Sultan  of  Selangor  and  to  dis- 
continue the  collection  of  tin  on  account  of  the 
Company.  The  whole  of  the  tin  collected, 
about  2,000  piculs,  having  been  properly 
smelted,  was  ultimately  sold  at  the  price  of 
18  Spanish  dollars  per  picul.  There  was  a 
gain  on  the  adventure  of  5,396.41  Spanish 
dollars,  besides  the  Custom  House  duties, 
which  amounted  to  800  dollars  more.  The 
Hon.  Mr.  Clubley,  in  a  minute  on  the  subject, 
expressed  the  view  that  sufficient  had  been 
done  for  the  beneficial  purposes  contemplated. 
"  I  quite  agree  with  the  Hon.  the  President 
in  the  justice  of  his  ideas,  that  we  shall  best 
encourage  the  trade  in  tin  by  endeavouring,  as 
much  as  lies  in  our  power,  to  remove  the 
barriers  which,  at  present,  either  the  selfish 
or  timid  policy  of  the  neighbouring  Malay 
Governments  has  opposed  to  the  free  transit 
of  that  article.  The  opening  of  a  free  com- 
munication with  the  Kwala  Muda  will  be 
highly  desirable  in  this  view  on  the  one  side, 
and  on  the  other,  the  possession  of  Pankor,  if 
it  could  be  done  with  propriety,  would  facilitate 
trade  with  Perak  and  render  it  liable  to  the 
least  possible  obstructions.  I  am  aware,  how- 
ever, of  the  justice  and  propriety  of  the  Hon. 
the  President's  objections  against  our  occupa- 
tion of  Pankor  at  present,  in  view  to  avoid 
any  cause  for  jealousy  either  from  the  Butch 
Government  or  from  that  of  Siam  under 
present  circumstances.  It  does  not  appear  to 
me,  however,  that  any  objections  do  arise  from 
any  other  quarter  to  prevent  this  desirable 
measure  being  attained,  and  when  the  discus- 
sions which  have  been  referred  to  Europe  shall 
be  adjusted,  I  certainly  hope  to  see  that  island 
an  integral  part  of  this  Government  and 
forming  (as  it  will  essentially  do)  a  great 
protection  to  the  passing  trade,  especially  of 
tin  from  Perak  and  Selangor,  and  a  material 
obstruction,  when  guarded  by  a  British  detach- 
ment, to  the  enormous  system  of  piracy  that 
at  present  prevails  in  that  part  of  the  Straits.  .  .  , 
From  the  foregoing  observations,  it  is  needless 
to  add  I  consider,  as  the  Hon.  President  does, 
that  it  becomes  unnecessary  to  persevere  in 
enforcing  our  treaties,  with  the  Rajas  of  Perak 
and   Selangor   for   our   annual  supply   of    tin. 

Yet,  if  circumstances  had  been  otherwise,  I 
would  assuredly  have  added  ray  humble  voice 
in  deprecating  and  resenting  the  overbearing 
assumptions  of  our  Netherlands  neighbours  at 
Malacca,  who  in  the  most  uncourteous,  if  not 
unjustifiable,  manner  have  prevailed  on  the 
Raja  of  Selangor  to  annul  a  former  treaty 
he  had  concluded  with  this  Government,  for 
the  purpose  of  substituting  an  obsolete  one 
of  their  own.  The  superior  authorities  will 
no  doubt  view  in  this  procedure  a  continuation 
only  of  the  same  system  which  has  been 
practised  universally  by  the  Dutch  since  they 
resumed  the  government  of  the  Eastern 

The  Siamese  connection  with  the  affairs  of 
the  Malay  Peninsula  cannot  be  overlooked  in  a 
general  survey  of  the  history  of  the  federated 
area.  From  a  very  early  period,  as  has  been 
noted,  the  Siamese  had  relations  with  the 
northern  portions  of  the  region.  Their  influ- 
ence varied  in  degree  from  time  to  time  with 
the  fortunes  of  their  country  ;  but  they  would 
appear  to  have  effectually  stamped  the  impress 
of  their  race  upon  the  population  at  the  period 
of  the  occupation  of  Pinang.  On  the  strength  of 
their  position  as  the  dominant  power  seated  at 
the  northern  end  of  the  peninsula,  they  put  for- 
ward claims  to  supremacy  over  several  of  the 
principal  Malay  States,  notably  Kedah,  Patani, 
Perak,  and  Selangor.  These  claims  were 
never,  there  is  reason  to  think,  fully  conceded, 
but  occasionally,  under  stress  of  threats,  the 
chiefs  of  the  States  rendered  the  traditional 
tribute,  known  as  the  Bunga  Mas,  or  flower 
of  gold.  Kedah  conceded  this  degree  of 
dependence  upon  the  Siamese  power  early 
in  the  nineteenth  century,  but  when  demands 
were  made  upon  it  for  more  substantial 
homage  it  resolutely  declined  to  submit,  with 
the  result  that  the  State,  in  November,  1821, 
was  overrun  by  a  horde  of  Siamese  under 
the  Raja  of  Ligore,  and  conquered  in  the 
circumstances  of  hideous  barbarity  related  in 
the  Pinang  section  of  this  work.  What  fol- 
lowed may  be  related  in  the  words  of  Mr. 
Anderson  in  his  famous  pamphlet  previously 
referred  to  • :  "  Having  effected  the  complete 
subjugation  of  Quedah  and  possessed  himself 
of  the  country,  the  Raja  of  Ligore  next 
turned  his  attention  to  one  of  its  principal 
dependencies,  one  of  the  Lancavy  islands,  and 
fitted  out  a  strong,  well-equipped  expedition, 
which  proceeded  to  the  principal  island,  which, 
independent  of  possessing  a  fixed  population 
of  three  or  four  thousand  souls,  had  received 
a  large  accession  by  emigrants  from  Quedah. 
Here,  too,  commenced  a  scene  of  death  and 
desolation  almost  exceeding  credibility.  The 
men  were  murdered  and  the  women  and 
female  children  carried  off  to  Quedah,  while 
the  male  children  were  either  put  to  death 
or  left  to  perish.  .  .  Several  badly  planned 
and  ineffectual  attempts  have  at  different  times 
been  made  by  unorganised  bodies  of  the  King 
of  Quedah's  adherents  in  the  country  to  cut  off 
the  Siamese  garrison  in  Quedah,  but  these 
have  all  been  followed  by  the  most  disastrous 
results  ;  not  only  by  the  destruction  of  the 
assailants,  but  b>-  increased  persecution  towards 

'  "  Considerations  on  the  Conquest  of  Quedah  and 
Perak  by  the  Siamese." 



the  remaining  Malayan  inhabitants.  The  King 
himself  for  some  time  was  anxious  to  have 
made  an  effort  to  regain  his  country,  in  concert 
with  some  native  powers  which  had  promised 
him  aid  in  vessels  and  men  ;  but  he  was  dis- 
suaded from  so  perilous  and  certainly  doubtful 
an  enterprise  by  those  who  were  interested  in 
his  cause,  and  who  apprehended  his  certain 
overthrow  and  destruction  from  an  attempt  of 
the  kind.  There  is  no  doubt  the  Siamese  were 
too  powerful  and  too  well  prepared  for  any 
such  ill-arranged  expedition  as  it  could  have 
been  within  the  compass  of  the  Quedah  Raja's 
means  to  have  brought  against  them  to  have 
had  any  chance  of  success  ;  and  it  would  have 
been  inconsistent  with  the  professed  neutrality 
of  the  British  Government  to  have  permitted 
any  equipments  or  warlike  preparations  within 
its  ports,  the  more  particularly  so  as  a  mission 
had  just  proceeded  to  Siam  from  the  Governor- 
General  of  India. 

"  However  much  disposed  the  Pinang 
Government  might  have  been  on  the  first 
blush  of  the  affair  to  have  stopped  such 
proceedings  on  the  part  of  the  Siamese  and 
to  have  checked  such  ambitious  and  un- 
warrantable aggression,  however  consistent 
and  politic  it  might  have  been  to  have  treated 
the  Ligorean  troops  as  a  predatory  horde  and 
expelled  them  at  once  from  the  territories  of  an 
old  and  faithful  ally  of  the  British  Government, 
the  mission  from  the  Supreme  Government  of 
Bengal  to  the  Court  of  Siam,  and  the  probable 
evil  consequences  of  an  immediate  rupture, 
were  considerations  which  could  not  fail  to 
embarrass  the  Pinang  Government  and  render 
it  necessary  to  deliberate  well  before  it  em- 
barked in  any  measures  of  active  hostility  ; 
while  the  disposable  force  on  the  island, 
although  fully  adequate  to  the  safe  guardian- 
ship and  protection  of  the  place,  and  sufficient 
to  repel  any  force  that  the  Siamese  could 
bring  against  it,  was  yet  insufficient  for  pro- 
secuting a  vigorous  war,  or  maintaining  its 
conquests  against  the  recruited  legions  which 
the  Siamese  power  could  have  transported 
with  facility,  ere  reinforcements  could  have 
arrived  from  other  parts  of  India.  Under  all 
these  circumstances  the  policy  of  suspending 
hostilities  was  manifest,  and  it  was  deemed 
proper  to  await  the  orders  of  the  superior 
and   controlling  authorities.  It  was  ex- 

pected that  the  mission  would  have  produced 
some  results  advantageous  to  the  interests  of 
our  ally,  by  the  mediation  of  the  Ambassador, 
and  that,  at  all  events,  the  affairs  of  Quedah 
would  have  been  settled  upon  a  proper  footing. 
So  far,  however,  from  any  of  these  most 
desirable  objects  which  were  contemplated 
being  attained,  the  Siamese  authorities  not  only 
assumed  a  tone  of  insolence  and  evasion  to  all 
the  reasonable  propositions  of  the  Ambassador, 
but  signified  their  expectation  that  the  King  of 
Quedah  should  be  delivered  up  to  them. 

"The  King  of  Ligore,  not  satisfied  with  the 
conquest  of  Quedah,  and  grasping  at  more 
extended  dominion,  under  pretence  of  con- 
veying back  some  messengers  from  Perak 
who  had  carried  the  Bunga  Mas,  or  token 
of  homage,  to  Quedah,  requested  permission 
for  a  fleet  to  pass  through  Pinang  harbour, 
which,  being  conducted  beyond  the  borders 
by  a  cruiser,  proceeded  to  Perak,  and,  after  a 

short  struggle,  his  (the  King  of  Ligore's)  forces 
also  possessed  themselves  of  that  country, 
which  had  been  reduced  by  the  Quedah 
forces  in  1818,  by  the  orders  of  Siam,  in 
consequence  of  a  refusal  to  send  the  Bunga 
Mas,  a  refusal  thoroughly  justified,  for  the 
history  of  that  oppressed  State  affords  no  in- 
stance of  such  a  demand  ever  having  been 
made  by  Siam  or  complied  with  before." 

It  was  understood  that  Selangor  was  to 
be  the  next  place  attacked,  but  the  timely 
preparations  of,  and  the  determined  attitude 
taken  up  by,  the  Raja  of  that  country  deterred 
the  Siamese  from  making  the  attempt.  But  it 
was  evident  from  their  actions,  Mr.  Anderson 
thinks,  that  they  contemplated  the  total  over- 
throw and  subjugation  of  all  the  Malayan 
States  on  the  peninsula  and  the  subversion 
of  the  Mahomedan  religion.  Raffles,  with  his 
clear-sighted  vision,  had  an  equally  strong 
opinion  of  the  subversive  tendencies  of  Sia- 
mese policy.  In  a  letter  dated  June  7,  1823, 
addressed  to  Mr.  John  Crawfurd,  on  the  occa- 
sion of  his  handing  over  to  that  official  the 
administration  of  Singapore,  he  drew  attention 
to  the  political  relations  of  Siam  with  the  Malay 
States  in  order  to  guide  him  as  to  the  line  he 
should  adopt  in  his  political  capacity.  After 
stating  that  in  his  opinion  the  policy  hitherto 
pursued  by  the  British  had  been  founded  on 
erroneous  principles,  Raffles  proceeded  :  "  The 
dependence  of  the  tributary  States  in  this  case 
is  founded  on  no  rational  relation  which  con- 
nects them  with  the  Siamese  nation.  These 
people  are  of  opposite  manners,  language,  re- 
ligion, and  general  interests,  and  the  superiority 
maintained  by  the  one  over  the  other  is  so 
remote  from  protection  on  the  one  side  or 
attachment  on  the  other,  that  it  is  but  a  simple 
exercise  of  capricious  tj'ranny  by  the  stronger 
party,  submitted  to  by  the  weaker  from  the  law 
of  necessity.  We  have  ourselves  for  nearly 
forty  years  been  eye-witnesses  of  the  pernicious 
influence  exercised  by  the  Siamese  over  the 
Malayan  States.  During  the  revolution  of  the 
Siamese  Government  these  profit  by  its  weak- 
ness, and  from  cultivating  an  intimacy  with 
strangers,  especially  with  ours  over  other  Euro- 
pean nations,  they  are  always  in  a  fair  train  of 
prosperity  ;  with  the  settlement  of  the  Siamese 
Government,  on  the  contrary,  it  invariably 
regains  the  exercise  of  its  tyranny,  and  the 
Malayan  States  are  threatened,  intimidated,  and 
plundered.  The  recent  invasion  of  Kedah  is  a 
striking  example  in  point,  and  from  the  infor- 
mation conveyed  to  me  it  would  appear  that 
that  commercial  seat,  governed  by  a  prince  of 
the  most  respectable  character,  long  personally 
attached  to  our  nation,  has  only  been  saved 
from  a  similar  fate  by  a  most  unlooked-for 
event.  By  the  independent  Malayan  States, 
who  may  be  supposed  the  best  judges  of  this 
matter,  it  is  important  to  observe,  the  connec- 
tion of  the  tributary  Malays  with  Siam  is  looked 
upon  as  a  matter  of  simple  compulsion.  Fully 
aware  of  our  power  and  in  general  deeply 
impressed  with  respect  for  our  national 
character,  still  it  cannot  be  denied  that  we 
suffer  at  the  present  moment  in  their  good 
opinion  by  withholding  from  them  that  pro- 
tection from  the  oppression  of  the  Siamese 
which  it  would  be  so  easy  for  us  to  give ;  and 
Ihe  case  is  stronger  with  regard  to  Kedah  than 

the  rest,  for  here  a  general  impression  is  abroad 
amongst  them  that  we  refuse  an  assistance  that 
we  are  by  treaty  virtually  bound  to  give,  since 
we  entered  into  a  treaty  with  that  State  as  an 
independent  Power,  without  regarding  the 
supremacy  of  Siam,  or  even  alluding  to  its 
connection  for  five-and-twenty  years  after  our 
first  establishment  at  Pinang.  The  prosperity  of 
the  settlement  under  your  direction  is  so  much 
connected  with  that  of  the  Malayan  nation  in  its 
neighbourhood,  and  this  again  depends  so  much 
upon  their  liberty  and  security  from  foreign  op- 
pression, that  I  must  seriously  recommend  to 
your  attention  the  contemplation  of  the  probable 
event  of  their  deliverance  from  the  yoke  of  Siam, 
and  your  making  the  Supreme  Government  im- 
mediately informed  of  every  event  which  may 
promise  to  lead  to  that  desirable  result." 

Raffles  was  so  impressed  with  the  vital 
importance  of  the  question  that,  besides  inditing 
this  suggestive  letter  of  advice  to  his  successor, 
he  wrote  to  the  Supreme  Government  urging 
the  necessity  of  a  strong  policy  in  dealing  with 
the  Siamese.  "The  conduct  and  character  of 
the  Court  of  Siam,"  he  wrote,  "offer  no  open- 
ing for  friendly  negotiations  on  the  footing  on 
which  European  States  would  treat  with  each 
other,  and  require  that  in  our  future  communi- 
cations we  should  rather  dictate  what  we  con- 
sider to  be  just  and  right  than  sue  for  their 
granting  it  as  an  indulgence.  I  am  satisfied 
that  if,  instead  of  deferring  to  them  so  much  as 
we  have  done  in  the  case  of  Kedah,  we  had 
maintained  a  higher  tone  and  declared  the 
country  to  be  under  our  protection ,  they  would 
have  hesitated  to  invade  that  unfortunate  terri- 
tory. Having,  however,  been  allowed  to 
indulge  their  rapacity  in  this  instance  with 
impunity,  they  are  encouraged  to  similar  acts 
towards  the  other  States  of  the  peninsula,  and, 
if  not  timely  checked,  may  be  expected  in  a 
similar  manner  to  destroy  the  truly  respectable 
State  of  Tringanu,  on  the  eastern  side  of  the 
peninsula."  Raffles  went  or,  to  suggest  that 
the  blockade  of  the  Menam  river,  which  could 
at  any  time  be  effected  by  the  cruisers  from 
Singapore,  would  always  bring  the  Siamese  to 
terms  as  far  as  concerned  the  Malay  States^ 

The  wise  words  of  the  founder  of  Singapore 
had  little  influence  on  the  prejudiced  minds  of 
the  authorities  in  India  and  at  home.  They  dis- 
liked the  idea  of  additional  responsibility  in  this 
region,  and  they  adopted  the  line  of  the  least 
resistance,  which  was  the  conclusion  of  a  treaty 
with  Siam  accepting  the  conquest  of  Kedah  as 
an  accomplished  fact  and  compromising  other 
disputed  points. 

The  treaty,  which  was  concluded  on  June  20, 
1826,  provided,  inter  alia,  for  unrestricted  trade 
between  the  contracting  parties  "  in  the  English 
countries  of  Prince  of  Wales  Island,  Malacca, 
and  Singapore,  and  the  Siamese  countries  of 
Ligore,  Merdilons,Singora,Patani,Junk  Ceylon, 
Quedah,  and  other  Siamese  provinces  ; "  that  the 
Siamese  should  not  "  obstruct  or  interrupt  com- 
merce in  the  States  of  Tringanu  and  Calan- 
tan";  that  Kedah  should  remain  in  Siamese 
occupation  ;  and  that  the  Raja  of  Perak  should 
govern  his  country  according  to  his  own  will, 
and  should  send  gold  and  silver  flowers  to 
Siam  as  heretofore,  if  he  desired  so  to  do. 
Practically  the  effect  of  the  treaty  was  to  con- 
firm the   Siamese     in    the    possession   of    an 



enormous  tract  of  country  over  which  their  hold 
would,  in  other  circumstances,  have  been  of  a 
very  precarious  character,  and  supplythem  with 
an  excuse  for  further  aggression  at  a  later  period. 
The  shortcomings  of  the  arrangement  were 
recognised  at  the  time  by  the  most  experienced 
of  the  Straits  administrators,  but  the  full  realisa- 
tion of  the  nature  of  the  blunder  committed  in 
giving  the  aggressive  little  people  from  the 
North  a  substantial  stake  in  the  peninsula  was 
left  to  a  later  generation  of  officials,  who  were 
to  find  the  natural  expansion  of  British  influence 
checked  by  claims  arising  out  of  this  Treaty  of 
Bangkok  of  1826, 


Anarchy  in  the  States- 


For  a  considerable  period  following  the  com- 
pletion of  this  compact  between  Great  Britain 
and  Siam  the  course  of  events  in  the  Malay 
Peninsula  ceased  to  engage  the  active  attention 
of  British  officials  in  the  Straits.  The  expedi- 
tion to  Naning,  described  in  the  Malacca  section, 
was  the  one  exception  to  the  rule  of  inactivity, 
and  that  was  but  a  local  and  passing  episode 
which  did  not  touch  the  larger  question  of  con- 
trol in  the  peninsula,  since  Naning  had  long 
been  regarded  as  an  essential  part  of  the  Malacca 
territory.  The  abstention  from  interference  was 
due  to  a  variety  of  reasons,  but  chiefly  to  the 
indifference  of  the  Indian  authorities  to  the 
interests  which  centred  in  the  Straits.  The  dis- 
tance of  the  area  from  the  seat  of  government 
prevented  that  intimate  knowledge  of  the 
country  which  was  essential  to  a  proper 
handUng  of  the  difficult  and  delicate  problems 
arising  out  of  the  position  of  the  Malay  chiefs, 
and,  moreover,  there  was  no  apparent  compen- 
sation to  be  gained  for  thrusting  a  hand  into  the 
Asiatic  wasps'  nest  which  the  region  for  gene- 
rations had  proved  to  be.  Could  the  Supreme 
Government  have  seen  the  Federated  Malay 
States  as  they  are  to-day — a  marvellously 
prosperous  centre  of  industry,  not  only  hand- 
somely paying  their  way  but  acting  as  a  feeder 
to  the  trade  of  the  established  British  settlements 
— they  would  doubtless  have  acted  differently. 
But  those  things  were  in  the  lap  of  the  gods. 
All  that  was  visible  to  the  somewhat  narrow 
political  intelligence  of  the  Calcutta  bureaucrats 
was  a  welter  of  anarchical  tribal  despotism,  out 
of  which  nothing  could  come  more  tangible 
than  a  heavy  financial  responsibility  to  the  Com- 
pany should  it  be  rash  enough  to  intervene.  So, 
forgetting  the  lessons  inculcated  by  Raffles, 
Marsden,  and  Anderson  of  the  vast  potentialities 
of  this  region  for  trade,  it  was  content  to  ignore 
the  existence  of  the  Western  Malay  States  save 
on  those  occasions,  not  infrequent,  when  some 
unusually  daring  act  of  piracy  perpetrated  by 
the  inhabitants  aroused  it  to  transient  activity. 

The  indifference  of  the  Government  of  the 
Straits  to  affairs  in  the  Malay  States  survived 
for  some  years  the  authority  of  the  Govern- 
ment of  India  in  the  settlements.  The  Govern- 
ment at  home  sternly  discountenanced  any 
exercise  of  authority  beyond  the  limits  of 
British  territory,  and  knowing   this,  the  local 

officials  turned  a  blind  eye  on  events  which 
were  passing  across  the  border  save  when,  as 
has  been  said,  flagrant  acts  of  piracy  committed 
on  British  subjects  galvanised  them  to  spasmodic 
action.  This  poHcy  of  masterly  inactivity  was 
possible  when  the  trade  of  the  peninsula  was 
small  and  steam  communication  was  little 
developed  in  the  Straits.  But  when  the  tin 
mines  of  Larut  became,  as  they  did  in  the  later 
sixties,  an  important  centre  of  Chinese  industry 
and  a  valuable  trade  flowed  from  them  through 
Pinang,  the  attitude  of  aloofness  could  not  be 
so  easily  maintained.  The  commercial  com- 
munity of  Singapore  and  Pinang  chafed  under 
the  losses  to  which  they  were  subjected  by  the 
eternal  warfare  of  the  anarchical  elements 
which  pervaded  the  Western  States,  and  again 
and  again  urged  the  Government  in  vain  to 
adopt  a  more  energetic  policy  for  the  protection 
of  what  even  then  was  a  valuable  trade. 
Matters  at  length  got  so  bad  that  the  Govern- 
ment could  no  longer  ignore  their  plain  respon- 
sibilities. The  events  which  led  up  to  interven- 
tion may  be  briefly  described.  In  1871  a 
daring  act  of  piracy  committed  on  a  British 
trading  boat  by  Chinese  and  Selangor  Malays 
led  to  the  bombardment  by  H.M.S.  Rinaldo  of 
the  forts  at  the  mouth  of  the  Selangor  river. 
The  situation  in  Selangor  itself  at  the  time  was 
about  as  disturbed  as  it  could  possibly  be.  On 
the  one  side  was  the  brother-in-law  of  the 
Sultan,  a  Kedah  chief  named  Tunku  Dia  Oodin, 
acting  as  a  sort  of  viceroy  under  the  authority 
of  the  Sultan,  a  curious  old  fellow  whose  motto 
seems  to  have  been  "  Anything  for  a  quiet  life  " 
— his  idea  of  quietude  being  freedom  from 
personal  worry  ;  and  on  the  other  were  the 
Sultan's  sons,  who  set  themselves  indefatigably 
to  thwart  the  constituted  authority  at  every 
turn.  Three  of  these  sons,  the  Rajas  Mahdie, 
Syed  Mashoor,  and  Mahmud,  were  mixed  up  in 
the  act  of  piracy  which  led  to  the  bombardment 
of  the  Selangor  forts,  and  the  British  Govern- 
ment preferred  a  demand  to  the  Sultan  for 
their  surrender,  and  at  the  same  time  an- 
nounced that  they  would  support  Tunku  Dia 
Oodin.  For  some  reason  the  demand  was  not 
pressed,  and  the  three  lively  young  princelets, 
with  other  disaffected  members  of  the  royal 
house,  threw  themselves  heart  and  soul  into 
the  congenial  task  of  making  government  by 
Tunku  impossible.  In  July,  1872,  a  number  of 
influential  traders  at  Malacca  petitioned  the 
Singapore  Chamber  of  Commerce  to  take  up 
the  question  of  the  disturbances  in  Selangor. 
They  represented  that  on  the  faith  of  the 
Government  assurances-  of  support  to  Tunku, 
and  with  full  confidence  in  his  administration, 
they  had  invested  large  sums  of  money  in  the 
trade  of  Selangor,  more  particularly  in  the  tin 
mines.  The  Singapore  Chamber  sent  the 
petition  on  to  Government,  and  elicited  a  reply 
to  the  eff'ect  that  every  endeavour  was  being 
made  to  induce  the  chiefs  to  submit  to  the 
authority  of  the  Sultan  and  his  viceroy,  but 
that  it  was  the  policy  of  the  Government  "  not 
to  interfere  in  the  affairs  of  those  countries 
unless  (sic)  where  it  becomes  necessary  for  the 
suppression  of  piracy  or  the  punishment  of 
aggression  on  our  people  or  territories  ;  but 
that  if  traders,  prompted  by  the  prospect  of 
large  gains,  choose  to  run  the  risk  of  placing 
their   persons   and   property   in   the   jeopardy 

which  they  are  aware  attends  them  in  this 
country,  under  these  circumstances  it  is  im- 
possible for  Government  to  be  answerable  for 
their  protection  or  that  of  their  property.''  The 
Singapore  Chamber  sent  a  respectful  protest 
against  the  views  enunciated  in  this  communi- 
cation. They  urged  that  the  Malacca  traders 
had  made  out  a  just  claim  for  the  interference 
of  the  British  Government  for  the  "  punishment 
of  aggression  on  our  people,"  and  that  even  if 
the  Malacca  traders  had  been  induced  solely  by 
"  prospects  of  large  gains  "  to  run  considerable 
risks,  that  alone  would  not  warrant  the  Govern- 
ment in  refusing  its  protection.  Finally  the 
Chamber,  while  deprecating  any  recourse  to 
coercive  measures,  urged  upon  the  Government 
"the  absolute  necessity  of  adopting  some 
straightforward  and  well  defined  policy  in 
dealing  with  the  rulers  of  the  various  States  of 
the  Malay  Peninsula,  for  the  purpose  of  pro- 
moting and  protecting  commercial  relations 
with  their  respective  provinces,  as  there  is  every 
reason  to  believe  they  would  readily  accept  the 
impartial  views  and  friendly  advice  of  the  British 

Somewhat  earlier  than  the  date  of  this 
Malacca  petition — in  the  month  of  April — the 
Governor,  Sir  Harry  Ord,  had  been  induced  by 
the  news  which  reached  him  of  the  disturbed 
conditions  on  the  peninsula  to  despatch  the 
Auditor-General,  Mr.  C.  J.  Irving,  who  had 
warmly  supported  the  cause  of  Tunku  Dia 
Oodin,  to  the  Klang  and  Selangor  rivers  to 
ascertain  exactly  what  was  the  condition  of 
affairs,  and  whether  it  was  likely  that  any 
arrangement  could  be  come  to  between  Tunku 
and  those  Rajas,  especiafly  Mahdie,  Syed 
Mashoor,  and  Mahmud,  who  were  still  holding 
out  against  his  and  the  Sultan's  authority.  Mr, 
Irving  brought  back  word  that  Tunku  Dia 
Oodin  had  practical  possession  of  both  the 
Selangor  and  Klang  rivers,  and  possessed 
communications  with  the  Bernam  river  on  the 
north  and  the  Langat  river  on  the  south,  on 
which  latter  the  Sultan  resided,  and  were  thus 
enabled  to  send  down  to  the  coast,  though  not 
without  difficulty,  the  tin  raised  in  the  interior, 
and  with  it  to  obtain  supplies  of  arms  and  food. 
Constant  warfare  prevailed  between  the  two 
parties,  and  there  were  repeated  attacks  and 
captures  of  posts  in  which  neither  party  seemed 
to  gain  any  great  advantage.  Raja  Mahdie 
was  then  out  of  the  country  trying  to  organise 
a  force  with  which  to  return  to  the  attack. 
Tunku  Dia  Oodin  expressed  himself  ready  to 
make  any  arrangement  by  which  peace  could 
be  restored  to  the  country.  He  had,  he  said, 
put  the  Sultan's  sons  in  charge  of  the  Selangor 
river,  but  partly  through  weakness  and  partly 
through  treachery  they  had  played  into  the 
hands  of  his  enemies,  and  he  had  been  com- 
pelled to  displace  them.  He  endeavoured  to 
interfere  as  little  as  possible  with  the  trade  of 
the  country,  but  so  long  as  the  rebel  Rajas 
could  send  out  of  it  the  tin  and  get  back  in  re- 
turn supplies,  so  long  would  the  war  continue  ; 
and  with  the  view  of  putting  a  stop  to  this  he 
had  been  compelled  to  enforce  a  strict  blockade 
of  the  two  rivers,  which  was  naturally  giving 
great  offence  to  those  merchants  who  had 
made  advances  on  behalf  of  the  tin. 

After  completing  his  inquiries  at  Selangor, 
Mr.  Irving  proceeded  to  Larut,  in  Perak,  where 



serious  disturbances  threatening  the  trade  of 
the  country  with  Pinang  had  brolcen  out.  He 
found  the  state  of  affairs  quite  as  bad  as  it  had 
been  represented  to  the  Government  at  Singa- 
pore. On  the  death  of  the  Sultan  of  Peralc, 
his  son,  the  Raja  Muda,  should  in  the  natural 
course~of  events  have  succeeded  his  father,  but 
he,  having  given  great  offence  to  a  number  of 
chiefs  by  absenting  himself  from  the  funeral 
ceremonies,  was  superseded  by  another  high 
official,  the  Bendahara,  who  had,  with  the  chiefs' 
consent,  assumed  the  sultanship.  Each  party 
appealed  to  the  Government  for  countenance 
and  support,  and  was  informed  that  the  British 
authorities  could  not  interfere  in  any  way  in  the 
internal  affairs  of  the  country,  but  that  as  soon 
as  the  chiefs  and  great  men  had  determined 
who,  according  to  their  native  customs,  was  the 
proper  successor  to  the  Sultan,  the  Government 
would  be  happy  to  recognise  him.  Mr.  Irving 
saw  the  Raja  Muda,  but  not  the  Bendahara,  who 
made  excuses  to  avoid  meeting"  him.  He  was 
of  opinion  that  the  Raja  Muda  had  stronger 
claims,  but  owing  to  his  being  an  opium 
smoker  and  a  debauchee  he  had  no  great 
following  nor  much  influence  with  the  people. 
Mr.  Irving  strongly  urged  on  the  three  Rajas 
and  their  chiefs  the  importance  of  a  peaceful  set- 
tlement of  their  differences,  and  suggested  that 
there  should  be  a  meeting  of  all  the  great  chiefs 
to  determine  the  question  of  the  succession. 
He  added  that  he  would  wiih  pleasure  send 
an  officer  of  rank  to  be  present  at  their  delibera- 
tion and  to  communicate  their  selection,  which 
they  might  rest  assured  would  be  accepted  by 
the  British  Government.  Mr.  Irving  returned 
to  Singapore  on  April  29,  and  on  May  3rd  he 
went  back  again  with  letters  from  the  Governor 
strongly  impressing  on  the  disputants  the  ex- 
pediency of  settling  their  differences  in  the 
way  that  had  been  suggested.  He  found  the 
Raja  Muda  willing  to  accede  to  the  proposal, 
but  not  the  Bendahara  and  his  adviser,  the 
Raja  of  Larut. 

Such  was  the  position  at  Perak.  At  Larut, 
where  thousands  of  Chinese  were  employed 
upon  the  mines,  serious  faction  fights  had 
broken  out  amongst  these  people  earlier  in  the 
year,  with  the  result  of  the  victory  of  one  party 
and  the  driving  away  of  the  vanquished.  It 
was  hoped  that  matters  had  quieted  down,  but 
in  October  the  faction  fight  broke  out  afresh 
with  renewed  violence.  The  defeated  party, 
having  obtained  assistance,  largely  from 
Pinang,  attacked  their  former  opponents,  and 
after  a  severe  struggle  succeeded  in  driving 
them  from  the  mines,  of  which  they  took 

Meanwhile,  matters  in  Selangor  were  going 
from  bad  to  worse.  When  Raja  Mahdie 
escaped  from  Johore  he  made  his  way  up  the 
Linggi  river,  which  forms  the  northern 
boundary  of  Malacca,  and  with  the  connivance 
of  the  chief  of  a  small  territory  called  Sungei 
Ujong  (one  of  the  Negri  Sambilan  States), 
through  which  the  northern  branch  of  the 
river  runs,  he  made  his  way  to  the  interior  of 
Selangor  and  joined  his  brother  rebel  chiefs. 
Although  bringing  neither  men  nor  arms,  his 
mere  presence  seems  to  have  acted  strongly  on 
his  party,  and  the  result  was  a  series  of  attacks 
on  Tunku  Dia  Oodin,  ending  in  the  recapture 
of  the  forts  at  the  mouth  of  the  Selangor  river. 

which  gave  them  the  entire  possession  of  that 
river,  and  later  of  two  forts  on  the  upper  part 
of   the  Klang  river.     Tunku  Dia  Oodin,  being 
now   hard   pressed,   applied  for  assistance  to 
the  Bendahara  of  Pahang,  with  the  assent  of 
the  British  authorities.     But  before  this  could 
reach   him   Tunku,   irritated   with    the   favour 
shown  to  Mahdie  by  the  chief  of  Sungei  Ujong, 
prevailed  on  the  chief  of  Rembau,  another  of 
the  Negri  Sambilan  group  of  States,  to  reassert 
some  old  claim  which  he  had  to  a  place  called 
Sempang  in  Sungei  Ujong,  and  on  the  banks 
of  the   Linggi   river,  which  communicates  in 
the  interior  with  the  Langat,  Klang,  and  Selan- 
gor rivers.    As  the   immediate  effect  of  this 
would  have  been  to  prevent  the  Sungei  Ujong 
people  from  getting  in  their  supplies  or  getting 
out  their  tin,  they  immediately  applied  to  the 
Straits  Government  for  protection,  offering  to 
hand  their  country  over  to  the  British  Govern- 
ment if  they  would  accept  it.     Thinking  that 
his   interference   might   tend    to   bring   about 
some  arrangement  of  the  matter,    Sir   Harry 
Ord  sent  his  Colonial  Secretary  to  the  chief  of 
Rembau,  and  this  individual,  on  being  seen,  at 
once  expressed  his  willingness  to  leave  in  the 
Governor's  hands  the  entire  settlement  of  his 
difference   with   Sungei   Ujong.    The   Sungei 
Ujong  chief  being  equally  ready  to  accept  the 
proposal.  Sir  Harry  Ord  proceeded  on  October 
29th  to  Sempang,  where  he  met  the  chief  of 
Sungei  Ujong  but  not  the  Rembau  chief,  who 
appears  to  have  mistaken  the  day  of  meeting. 
As   Sir  Harry  Ord   had  an  appointment  "with 
the  Sultan  of  Selangor  on  the  next  day  but  one, 
and  the  day  after  was  the  Ramazan  festival,  on 
which  no  business  could  be  done,  it  was  im- 
possible for  him  to  wait,   and   he   conducted 
his  inquiries  in  the  absence  of  the   Rembau 
chief.     He  was  glad  to  find,  after  discussing 
matters   with    the   Tunku    and    the    chief    of 
Sungei   Ujong,  that  the  latter  stated  that  he 
would   do   all   in   his   power    to   prevent   any 
assistance  whatever    from    reaching  Tunku's 
enemies.    With  this  assurance  Tunku  expressed 
himself  satisfied,  and  the  idea  of  his  occupying 
the  Sungei  river   was  allowed  to  drop.     On 
leaving  Sungei  Sir   Harry   Ord   proceeded   to 
Langat  to  meet  the  Sultan  of  Selangor.     He 
was  accompanied  by  Tunku,  and  knowing  that 
Mahdie  was   in  the  neighbourhood   and   that 
some  of  the  Sultan's  people  and  relatives  were 
ill-affected  towards  Tunku,  he  deemed  it  pru- 
dent to  ask  to  be  accompanied  by  the  armed 
boats  of  H.M.S.  Zebra  and  a  small  escort  of 
the  88th  Regiment.     Before  landing  he  had  a 
long  interview   with   Tunku   Dia  Oodin.     He 
pointed  out  to  him  the  apparently  precarious 
nature  of  his  position,  and  that  although  he 
had  the  nominal  support  of  the  Sultan  and  was 
well  backed  up  by  people  who  were  satisfied 
of  his  ultimate  success,  yet  that  he  had  immense 
difficulties  to  contend  with  in  the  open  hostility 
of  the  rebel  chiefs  and  lukewarmness,  if  not 
treachery,  of  the  Sultan's  sons.    Sir  Harry  sug- 
gested that  if  he  did  not  feel  very  sanguine  of 
success  it  would  be  better  for  him   to  retire 
from  the  contest  while  he  could  do  so  with- 
out loss  or  disgrace,  and  that  if  he  decided 
on   this  he   (Sir  Harry)  would,  in   his  inter- 
view with   the  Sultan,  pave  the  way  for  his 
doing   so   in   an   honourable  and  satisfactory 
manner.     Tunku   Dia   Oodin,   while  acknow- 

ledging the  justice  of  much  that  Sir  Harry 
Ord  had  said,  stated  that  he  did  not  con- 
sider his  situation  desperate  so  long  as  he 
had  the  prospect  of  the  aid  that  had  been 
promised  him  from  Pahang.  Tunku  admitted, 
however,  that  this  was  his  last  chance,  and 
offered  to  hand  back  to  the  Sultan  the  authority 
that  had  been  given  him  on  being  reimbursed 
the  expenses  he  had  been  put  to  in  endeavouring 
to  carry  it  out.  Sir  Harry  Ord  did  not  think  it 
necessary  to  accept  this  offer,  and  was  glad 
to  find  in  his  interview  with  the  Sultan  that 
individual  expressed  the  utmost  confidence  in 
Tunku.  The  complaints  about  the  blockade 
were  abandoned  on  Tunku's  explanation  of  the 
difficulties  which  compelled  him  to  take  this 
step.  At  Sir  Harry  Ord's  suggestion  it  was 
agreed  that  any  future  difficulties  should  be 
left  for  adjustment  between  Tunku  and  Raja 
Yacoof,  the  Sultan's  youngest  and  favourite 

Sir  Harry  Ord  hoped  rather  than  expected 
that  in  the  arrangement  he  had  made  he  had 
advanced  a  good  step  towards  adjusting  the  diffi- 
culties which  had  for  so  long  a  period  existed 
in  Selangor.  But  he  had  not  taken  sufficient 
account  of  the  strength  of  the  elements  of  dis- 
order which  were  in  active  being  all  over 
the  peninsula.  Before  very  long  the  position 
changed  materially  for  the  worse.  The 
assistance  asked  of  the  Bendahara  of  Pahang 
by  Tunku  Dia  Oodin  was  duly  forthcoming, 
and  with  its  aid  the  tide  was  soon  turned  in 
Tunku's  favour  once  more.  One  after  another 
the  "  rebel "  forts  were  captured,  and  finally, 
after  a  long  blockade,  Kuala  Lumpor,  the  chief 
town  of  the  State,  now  the  flourishing  head- 
quarters of  the  Federation,  fell  into  Tunku's 
hands.  The  advantage  was  somewhat  dearly 
purchased,  for  the  intrusion  of  the  Pahang  force 
introduced  a  fresh  disturbing  factor  into  this 
truly  distressful  land. 

In  October,  1873,  Sir  Harry  Ord  left  for 
England,  bearing  with  him  a  vivid  impression 
of  the  increasing  gravity  of  the  situation  which 
he  left  behind  him.  Some  little  time  earUer 
he  had  forwarded  home  a  suggestive  memorial, 
signed  by  practically  every  leading  Chinese 
merchant  in  the  Straits,  representing  the 
lamentable  condition  into  which  the  Malay 
States  had  been  allowed  to  fall,  and  imploring 
the  Government  to  give  their  attention  to  the 
matter.  As  evidence  of  the  overwhelming 
desire  there  was  at  the  period  for  British 
intervention  on  the  part  of  the  peaceful  native 
community,  the  document  is  of  great  interest. 
But  perhaps  its  chief  value  to-day  lies  in  its 
impartial  testimony  to  the  beneficent  fruits  of 
British  rule.  After  drawing  a  lurid  picture 
of  the  anarchy  which  everywhere  prevailed, 
the  memorialists  contrasted  the  condition  of 
the  disturbed  country  with  that  of  Johore : 
"  As  an  example  of  what  the  moral  influence 
of  Great  Britain  can  effect  in  a  native  State  we 
would  point  to  the  neighbouring  territory  of 
Johore,  whose  prosperous  and  peaceful  con- 
dition and  steady  progress  is  due  as  well  to  the 
liberality  and  foresight  of  its  present  ruler  as 
to  the  English  influences  which  have  of  late 
years  been  brought  to  bear  upon  the  Maha- 
raja's rule.  This  territory  we  are  informed 
from  the  highest  authority  contains  some 
seventy  thousand  Chinese,  amongst  whom  are 



twenty  or  thirty  Chinese  traders,  who  are 
possessed  of  property  and  capital  valued  at  from 
twenty  thousand  to  thirty  thousand  dollars. 

"  Your  Excellency  will  thus  see  that  the  above 
circumstances  have  so  restricted  the  field  for 
trade  round  the  British  settlements  in  these 
waters  that  it  becomes  necessary  for  us  to  seek 
elsewhere  openings  for  commerce,  and  our  eyes 
anxiously  turn  to  the  Malayan  Peninsula,  which 
affords  the  finest  field  for  the  enterprise  of 
British  subjects,  and  from  whence  we  may 
hope  to  reinvigorate  that  commercial  pros- 
perity which  our  industry  has  hitherto  secured 
for  us. 

"  In  former  days  it  was  the  duty  of  the 
Governors  and  Resident  Councillors  of  the 
settlements  to  maintain  intimate  relations  with 
the  States  of  the  peninsula.  If  complaints 
were  made  of  misconduct  on  the  part  of  the 
native  chiefs  or  any  of  their  headmen,  or 
of  outrages  committed  by  them  on  the  legiti- 
mate trader,  an  investigation  was  ordered  and 
redress  afforded.  B\-  a  constant  attention 
to  the  state  of  affairs  in  these  territories,  and 
by  the  rendering  of  advice  and  assistance 
in  their  regulation,  the  officials  of  Government 
obtained  such  an  influence  over  the  native  rulers 
as  to  be  enabled  without  the  use  of  force 
to  insure  the  security  of  the  trader  and  the 
order  of  the  country." 

The  policy  pursued  by  the  Government  of 
the  day  might,  the  petitioners  said,  be  in 
accordance  with  the  view  which  European 
Governments  took  of  their  responsibilities  to 
each  other,  but  "  its  application  to  the  half 
civilised  States  of  the  Malay  Peninsula  (whose 
inhabitants  are  as  ignorant  as  children)  is 
to  assume  an  amount  of  knowledge  of  the 
world  and  an  appreciation  of  the  elements  of 
law  and  justice  which  will  not  exist  amongst 
those  Governments  until  your  petitioners  and 
their  descendants  of  several  generations  have 
passed  away."  The  memorialists  concluded  : 
"  We  ask  for  no  privileges  or  monopolies  ; 
all  vire  pray  of  our  most  gracious  Queen  is 
that  she  will  protect  us  when  engaged  in 
honest  occupations,  that  she  will  continue 
to  make  the  privilege  of  being  one  of  her 
subjects  the  greatest  that  we  can  enjoy, 
and  that  by  the  counsel,  advice,  and  enter- 
prise of  her  representative  in  this  colony,  she 
will  restore  peace  and  order  again  in  those 
States,  so  long  connected  with  her  country, 
not  only  by  treaty  engagements  but  by  filial 
attachment,  but  which,  in  consequence  of  the 
policy  now  pursued  towards  them,  are  rapidly 
returning  to  their  original  state  of  lawlessness 
and  barbarism." 

It  was  impossible  for  the  Home  Government 
to  ignore  a  memorial  couched  in  such  pointed 
language  without  doing  grave  injury  to  British 
prestige,  not  merely  in  the  Straits  Settlements 
but  throughout  the  Far  East.  Accordingly, 
when  at  the  close  of  1873  Major-General  Sir 
Andrew  Clarke,  R.E  ,  went  out  as  Sir  Harry 
Ord's  successor,  he  took  with  him  definite 
instructions  from  Lord  Kimberley  to  make 
a  new  and  important  departure  in  the  policy 
of  deaUng  with  the  Malay  States.  In  a  letter 
dated  September  20,  1873,  in  which  acknow- 
ledgment of  the  receipt  of  the  petition  of  the 
Chinese  traders  is  made.  Lord  Kimberley 
wrote  : 

"  Her  Majesty's  Government  have,  it  need 
hardly  be  said,  no  desire  to  interfere  in  the 
internal  affairs  of  the  Malay  States.  But  look- 
ing to  the  long  and  intimate  connection  between 
them  and  the  British  Government,  as  shown 
in  the  treaties  which  have  at  various  times  been 
concluded  with  them,  and  to  the  well-being 
of  the  British  settlements  themselves,  her 
Majesty's  Government  feel  it  incumbent  upon 
them  to  employ  such  influence  as  they  possess 
with  the  native  Princes  to  rescue,  if  possible, 
these  fertile  and  productive  countries  from  the 
ruin  which  must  befall  them  if  the  present 
disorders  continue  unchecked. 

"  I  have  to  request  that  you  will  carefully 
ascertain,  as  far  as  you  are  able,  the  actual 
condition  of  affairs  in  each  State,  and  that  you 
will  report  to  me  whether  there  are,  in  your 
opinion,  any  steps  which  can  properly  be 
taken  by  the  Colonial  Government  to  promote 
the  restoration  of  peace  and  order  and  to 
secure  protection  to  trade  and  commerce  with 


the  native  territories.  I  should  wish  you  espe- 
cially to  consider  whether  it  would  be  advisable 
to  appoint  a  British  officer  to  reside  in  any  of 
the  States.  Such  an  appointment  could,  of 
course,  only  be  made  with  the  full  consent 
of  the  native  Government,  and  the  expenses 
connected  with  it  would  have  to  be  defrayed 
by  the  Government  of  the  Straits  Settlements." 
Sir  Andrew  Clarke's  responsibilities  were 
enormously  lightened  by  these  instructions, 
which  practically  conceded  the  principle  for 
which  traders  and  ofBcials  alike  in  the  Straits 
had  been  pleading  for  many  years.  But  the 
situation  he  had  to  face  when  he  reached 
Singapore  on  November  4,  1873,  was  not  of  a 
character  to  inspire  a  hopeful  feeling.  In  the 
weeks  preceding  his  arrival  the  troubles  all 
round  had  increased  in  seriousness.  The  chief 
storm  centre  was  Larut.  As  has  been  briefly 
noted,  the  country  was  the  battle-ground  of 
two  Chinese  factions — the  See  Kwans  (or  four 
district   men)    and    the    Go    Kwans    (or    five 

district  men).  These  men,  from  different  parts 
of  China,  were  traditionally  at  enmity,  but  their 
feud  had  blazed  into  stronger  flame  owing  to 
the  absence  of  any  controlling  authority  in  the 
disturbed  area,  For  a  proper  understanding 
of  the  position  we  may  with  advantage  quote 
from  a  memorandum  drawn  up  by  Mr.  Irving, 
the  Auditor-General,  a  survey  of  the  history  of 
Larut  anterior  to  these  events.  In  the  reign 
of  a  previous  Sultan,  Jafaar  of  Perak,  there 
was  a  trader  of  considerable  importance  at 
Bukit  Gantang,  several  miles  beyond  the  tin 
mines,  of  the  name  of  Inchi  Long  Jafaar.  This 
individual  was  placed  by  the  Sultan  in  charge 
of  a  district,  which  was  then  limited  to  the 
river  and  the  mines,  without  any  title,  and  in 
this  oiBce  he  probably  received  all  the  revenues 
of  Larut.  Each  successive  Sultan  confirmed 
the  appointment  on  attaining  to  power,  and 
when  Inchi  Jafaar  died,  his  brother  Inchi 
Nghar  Lamat  succeeded  him.  In  turn  Inchi 
Nghar  was  succeeded  by  Nghar  Ibrahim. 
Before  this  last-named  personage  attained  to 
power  the  long  protracted  feud  of  the  Chinese 
factions  had  broken  out.  The  first  attack  was 
made  by  the  Cheng  Sia  (or  Go  Kwans)  upon  the 
Wee  Chew  (or  See  Kwans), and  the  latter  came 
off  victorious.  Nghar  Ibrahim  appears  to  have 
sided  with  the  victorious  party,  and  it  is 
certain  that  he  dated  his  rise  in  fortune  from 
this  point.  One  of  the  leaders  of  the  defeated 
party,  a  British  subject,  complained  to  the 
Resident  Councillor  of  Pinang  of  the  loss  he 
had  suffered.  This  resulted  in  two  visits  to 
Perak  of  a  man-of-war  carrying  letters  from 
Governor  Cavenagh  with  a  demand  (enforced 
by  a  blockade  of  the  river  Larut)  for  an  indem- 
nity amounting  to  17,447  dollars  to  recoup  the 
defeated  party  the  injury  done.  The  Sultan 
treated  the  indemnity  as  a  forfeiture  due  from 
Nghar  Ibrahim.  He,  moreover,  confirmed 
the  government  of  Larut  upon  Nghar  Ibrahim. 
This  appointment  was  apparently  in  considera- 
tion of  his  having  found  the  indemnity  money. 
The  Sultan  soon  afterwards  promoted  Nghar 
Ibrahim  to  the  high  office  of  Orang  Kaya 
Mantri  of  Perak,  one  of  the  Mantri  Ampat  or 
four  chief  officers,  and  before  long  he  was 
acknowledged  to  be  practically  the  indepen- 
dent ruler  of  Larut,  including  a  district 
between  the  river  Krian  on  the  north  and  the 
river  Bruas  on  the  south.  The  Laksamana's 
name  seems  to  have  been  added  merely  to 
give  weight  to  the  appointment ;  he  had  never 
held  authority  in  Larut.  From  that  period 
until  1872  the  Mantri  enjoyed  all  the  royalties 
and  other  revenues  of  the  country.  These  had 
much  increased  with  the  growth  of  the 
Chinese  population,  whose  numbers  at  the  close 
of  1871  amounted  to  forty  thousand,  while  the 
imports  that  year  into  Pinang  of  tin,  the 
greater  part  of  which  came  from  Larut, 
amounted  to  1,276,518  dollars.  Circumstances, 
however,  had  already  occurred  to  show  that  he 
was  losing  his  control  over  the  miners  ;  and 
when,  in  February,  1872,  disturbances  com- 
menced between  the  two  factions,  he  was 
practically  powerless.  As  has  been  stated,  the 
fighting  resulted  in  the  complete  defeat  of  the 
Go  Kwan  party  and  their  expulsion  from  the 
country.  With  August,  1872,  opened  the 
second  stage  of  the  Larut  disturbances.  On 
August  27th  the   Mantri  addressed  a  letter  to 



the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Pinang  (Mr.  Camp- 
bell), in  which  he  made  bitter  complaints  of 
"  the  trouble  that  had  now  befallen  him."  He 
asserted  that  the  Go  Kwans  were  collecting  to 
attack  him,  and  that  many  of  his  relatives  were 
siding  with  them.  On  the  6th  of  September 
the  Lieutenant-Governor,  in  forwarding  papers 
on  the  subject,  reported  that  he  feared  there 
was  much  bad  feeling  abroad,  as  evidenced  by 
the  attempt  made  a  few  days  before  to  stab  Ho 
Gie  Slew,  the  chief  of  the  victorious  See  Kwan 
faction.  Later  in  the  same  month,  on  the  28th, 
Too  Tye  Sin,  one  of  the  principal  Chinese  in 
Pinang,  forwarded  a  petition  signed  by  forty- 
four  Chinese  traders  directly  accusing  the 
Mantri  of  having  assented  to  the  proceedings 
of  the  See  Kwans,  and  claiming  protection 
from  the  Government.  This  seems  to  have 
been  designed  as  an  announcement  of  their 
intention  to  recommence  hostilities.  It  was 
followed,  at  all  events,  on  the  i6th  of  October 
by  the  departure  from  Pinang  of  a  large  junk 
manned  with  one  hundred  Chinese  and  armed 
with  twelve  4-pounder  guns.  In  anticipation  of 
fighting,  the  Lieutenant-Governor  proceeded 
in  H.M.S.  Nassau  to  Larut.  He  returned  to 
Pinang  on  the  i8th.  The  Governor,  in  com- 
menting on  his  proceedings,  observed  that  he 
should  have  required  the  junks  to  desist  from 
their  illegal  proceedings,  which  were  in 
contravention  of  the  provisions  of  the  Penal 
Code.  In  consequence  of  this  a  proclamation 
was  issued  in  Pinang  citing  the  sections  of 
the  Code  bearing  upon  the  matter.  But  the 
mischief  had  then  been  done.  The  two 
factions  were  engaged  in  a  deadly  fight,  and, 
thanks  to  the  assistance  from  Pinang,  the  See 
Kwans  were  ousted  from  the  mines.  With 
them  went  the  Mantri,  who  had  got  into  bad 
odour  with  both  parties. 

Meanwhile,  affairs  along  the  coast  had 
assumed  a  condition  of  such  gravity  as  to 
necessitate  the  adoption  of  special  measures  by 
the  British  authorities.  Early  in  August,  owing 
to  attacks  on  boats  and  junks  near  Province 
Wellesley,  H.M.S.  Midge  had  been  sent  to 
patrol  that  part  of  the  straits.  Some  piratical 
craft  were  captured,  but  the  force  available 
was  too  small  to  cope  with  the  marauders,  who 
skilfully  and  successfully  evaded  the  man-of- 
war's  boats  by  sending  their  larger  vessels  to 
sea  and  concealing  their  war  boats  and  prahus 
in  the  numerous  creeks  along  the  sea-board. 
On  September  i6th  the  Midge's  boat,  while 
proceeding  up  the  Larut  river,  was  fired  upon 
by  the  faction  opposing  the  Mantri,  who  held 
the  banks.  The  fire  was  briskly  returned,  but 
owing  to  the  native  pilot  bolting  below  on  the 
firing  of  the  first  shot,  the  boat  got  ashore  and 
the  position  of  the  inmates  was  for  a  time  one 
of  some  danger.  It  was  got  off  eventually,  but 
not  before  two  officers  had  been  seriously 
wounded.  In  consequence  of  this  outrage 
Captain  Woolcombe,  the  senior  naval  officer  on 
the  station,  proceeded  in  H.M.S.  Thalia  to  the 
Larut  river,  and  on  the  20th  of  September  an 
attack  was  made  under  his  direction  upon  the 
enemy's  position.  The  stockade  was  carried 
in  a  brilliant  manner,  and  three  junks  form- 
ing part  of  the  defences  were  also  captured. 
Having  dismounted  all  the  guns  and  spiked 
them,  and  thrown  the  small  arms  found  in  the 
stockade  into  the  river,   Captain   Woolcombe 

burnt  the  junks.  Afterwards  he  directed  his 
forces  against  another  stockade  further  up  the 
river.  By  this  time  the  enemy  had  lost  their 
zest  for  the  fight,  and  the  British  contingent 
met  with  little  further  opposition.  The  punish- 
ment administered  had  a  great  moral  effect  on 
the  piratical  faction.  From  three  thousand  to 
four  thousand  of  the  See  Kwaris  there  and 
then  tendered  their  submission,  and  there  can 
be  no  doubt  that  if  the  success  had  been 
followed  up  an  end  would  have  been  made  to 
the  struggle  which  had  for  so  long  a  period 
raged  in  the  district.  As  things  were,  the 
fighting  continued  in  a  desultory  fashion  for 
some  time  longer,  a  hand  being  taken  in  the 
later  phases  by  Captain  T.  C.  Speedy,  who 
had  resigned  his  post  as  Port-Officer  of 
Pinang  to  assist  the  Mantri  with  a  specially 
recruited  force  of  Indians. 

Sir  Andrew  Clarke's  first  business  on  taking 
up  the  reins  of  government  was  to  thoroughly 
acquaint  himself  with  the  situation  in  all  its 
aspects.  He  was  not  long  in  coming  to  the 
conclusion  that  the  anarchy  must  be  stopped 

MR.    W.    A.    PICKERING. 

by  the  action  of  the  Government,  but  as  to 
what  that  action  should  be  he  was  not  quite 
clear.  A  proposal  to  invoke  the  intervention 
of  the  Malay  rulers  was  rejected  as  absolutely 
hopeless,  and  a  suggestion  that  the  Chinese 
Government  should  be  asked  to  send  a  man- 
darin to  play  the  part  of  mediator  was  found 
equally  objectionable.  Direct  intervention 
appeared  to  be  also  out  of  the  question  because 
the  Government  was  suspect  owing  to  its 
having  favoured  one  party.  Eventually,  as  a 
last  resource  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  empowered 
Mr.  W.  A.  Pickering,  an  able  official  who 
had  charge  of  Chinese  affairs  at  Singapore,  to 
seek  out  the  headmen  and  sound  them  infor- 
mally as  to  whether  they  would  accept  the 
Governor  as  an  arbitrator  in  their  quarrel. 
Such  was  Mr.  Pickering's  influence  over  the 
Chinese  and  their  trust  in  his  integrity,  that 
he  had  little  difficulty  in  persuading  them  to 
submit  their  dispute  to  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  for 
adjustment.  This  important  point  gained.  Sir 
Andrew  Clarke  lost  no  time  in  taking  action. 

He  immediately  issued  invitations  to  the  Perak 
chiefs  and  the  Chinese  headmen  to  a  con- 
ference, which  he  fixed  for  January  14th  at  the 
Bindings.  Arriving  at  the  rendezvous  on  the 
13th,  the  Governor  had  several  interviews  with 
the  chiefs,  separately  and  together.  He  was 
agreeably  surprised  to  find  the  Raja  Muda  a 
man  of  considerable  intelligence,  and  possess- 
ing perfect  confidence  in  his  ability  to  maintain 
his  position  if  once  placed  in  Perak  as  its 
legitimate  ruler.  All  the  chiefs  except  the 
Mantri  of  Larut  were  prepared  at  once  to 
receive  him  as  their  sovereign.  Therefore,  at 
the  final  meeting  on  the  20th  of  January,  Sir 
Andrew  Clarke  announced  his  intention  to 
support  the  Raja  Muda.  As  regards  the 
Chinese  disputants,  an  arrangement  was  come 
to  under  which  the  leaders  of  both  factions 
pledged  themselves  under  a  penalty  of  50,000 
dollars  to  keep  the  peace  towards  each  other 
and  towards  the  Malays  and  to  complete  the 
disarmament  of  their  stockades.  A  commission 
of  three  officers  was  appointed  to  settle  the 
question  of  the  right  to  the  mines  and  to 
endeavour  to  discover  and  release  a  number  of 
women  and  children  held  captive  by  the 
victorious  party. 

As  an  outcome  of  the  conference  we  have 
the  Treaty  of  Pangkor  of  June  20,  1874,  giving 
force  to  the  arrangements  already  detailed  as 
to  the  Dindings  and  Province  Wellesley,  and 
containing  these  important  provisions  : 

"That  the  Sultan  receive  and  provide  a 
suitable  residence  for  a  British  officer,  to  be 
called  Resident,  who  shall  be  accredited  to  his 
Court,  and  whose  advice  must  be  asked  and 
acted  upon  in  all  questions  other  than  those 
touching  Malay  religion  and  custom. 

"That  the  collection  and  control  of  all 
revenues  and  the  general  adminish-ation  of 
the  country  be  regulated  under  the  advice  of 
these  Residents." 

Thus  at  one  stroke  the  British  Government, 
for  good  or  for  evil,  was  committed  to  that 
active  intervention  in  Malay  affairs  from  which 
it  had  shrunk  with  almost  morbid  dislike  for  a 
century.  It  was  not  without  trepidation  that 
Sir  Andrew  Clarke  reported  what  he  had  done 
to  the  Colonial  Secretary.  "  I  am  perfectly 
aware,"  he  wrote,  "  that  I  have  acted  beyond 
my  instructions,  and  that  nothing  but  very 
urgent  circumstances  would  justify  the  step  I 
have  taken,  but  I  have  every  confidence  that 
her  Majesty's  Government  will  feel  that  the 
circumstances  at  the  time — the  utter  stoppage 
of  all  trade,  the  daily  loss  of  lite  by  the 
piratical  attacks  on  even  peaceful  traders  and 
by  the  fighting  of  the  factions  themselves,  and 
the  imminent  peril  of  the  disturbances  ex- 
tending to  the  Chinese  in  our  own  settlement — 
justified  me  in  assuming  the  responsibility  I 
have  taken."  The  Governor  did  not  lack 
backing  at  this  important  juncture.  The  Straits 
Settlements  Association  addressed  a  communi- 
cation to  the  Colonial  Secretary  on  March  6, 
1874,  expressing  entire  satisfaction  with  the 
proceedings  and  intimating  that  they  con- 
sidered the  negotiations  so  successfully  carried 
out  by  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  as  constituting  "  the 
most  important  step  that  has  for  many  years 
been  taken  by  the  British  Government  in  the 
Straits  of  Malacca  " — for  they  were  not  only 
valuable  in  themselves,  but  involved  principles 



"  capable  of  a  wide  and  beneficent  extension  in 
the  neighbouring  territories." 

It  now  remained  to  give  effect  to  '  tlie 
arrangements  whicli  Sir  Andrew  Clarlie  had 
made  under  cover  of  the  general  instructions 
given  to  him  by  Lord  Kimberley.  The  task 
was  not  an  easy  one,  for  the  country  had  been 
so  long  under  the  domination  of  the  fomenters 
of  disorder  that  it  was  diflicult  for  a  mere 
handful  of  Englishmen,  backed  by  no  physical 
force,  or  very  little,  to  win  it  over  to  the  paths 
of  peace.     However,  the  Commissioners,  three 

women  and  children,  and  finally  crossed  the 
defile  between  the  Larut  and  Perak  valleys, 
reached  the  bank  of  the  Perak  river  at  Kuala 
Kangsn,  secured  a  country  boat,  and  in  her 
paddled  a  hundred  miles  down  the  Perak 
river  to  the  village  of  Sultan  Abdullah,  where 
they  found  their  steamer  and  returned  to 
Pinang,  having  completely  accomplished  their 

About  the  same  period  as  the  Commission 
was  prosecuting  its  investigations  a  portion  of 
the  China  Fleet,  under  the  Admiral,  Sir  Charles 

the  Sultan's  village  in  his  yacht  and  invited  the 
chief  to  visit  him  to  talk  matters  over.  The  old 
fellow  obeyed  the  summons,  and  proved  a 
most  interesting,  and,  in  some  respects,  enter- 
taining guest.  Mr.  Irving,  who  saw  him  at  the 
time,  described  him  as  "an  elderly-looking 
gentleman  of  fifty  or  sixt\'  years  of  age,  an 
opium-smoker,  but  not  to  excess,  having  his 
senses  perfectly  about  him,  and  quite  able  to 
manage  his  affairs  if  he  pleased  ;  but  from 
indolence  he  had  got  into  the  habit  of  not 
himself  interfering  so  long  as  he  was  left  at 


(The  photo  was  taken  at  Paiigkor,  in  the  Dindings.) 

Sir  Wm,  Drummond  Jervois,  the  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settlements,  is  seated  in  the  middle  of  the  group.  Standing  on  his  left,  with  his  hand  upon  a  sword,  is  Mr.  J.  W.  Birch, 
the  first  British  Resident  of  Perak,  who  was  murdered  in  1875  ;  while  the  youthful  figure  leaning  upon  the  banister  on  the  extreme  right  of  the  picture  is  Mr.  (afterwards 
Sir)  Frank  Swettenham.  On  the  Governor's  immediate  right  is  Lieut,  (now  Sir)  Henry  McCallum,  then  Assistant  Colonial  Engineer  of  the  Straits  Settlements,  and  next  to 
him  is  Captain  Innes,  R.E.,  who  was  killed  at  the  attack  on  the  stockade  at  Pasir  Salak  in  1875.  The  tall  bearded  ofiicer  standing  upon  the  steps  is  Captain  Speedy, 
of  .\byssinia  fame. 

British  officials  and  a  Chinaman,  the  head  of 
the  See  Kwan  faction,  embarked  upon  their 
duties  with  a  resolute  determination  to  succeed, 
if  success  were  possible.  Sir  Frank  Swetten- 
ham, who  was  one  of  the  trio  of  officials, 
gives  in  his  book  a  moving  picture  of  the 
obstacles  encountered  by  the  Commissioners  in 
what  were  then  the  almost  impenetrable  vifilds 
of  Larut.-  "The  Commission,"  he  says  in 
summarising  their  proceedings,  "  visited  many 
out-of-the-way  places  in  the  Larut,  Krian,  and 
Selama    districts,    in    search    of    the    captive 

Shadwell,  was  demonstrating  off  Selangor  the 
determination  of  the  Government  to  suppress 
once  for  all  the  ph-acy  which  was  rife  off  that 
coast.  The  incident  which  had  led  to  this  dis- 
play of  power  was  the  pirating  of  a  large 
Malacca  boat  at  the  entrance  of  the  Jugra 
river,  a  tidal  creek  communicating  with  the 
Langat  river.  The  case  was  a  bad  one,  and 
it  lost  nothing  of  its  gravity  in  the  eyes  of  the 
British  authorities  from  the  circumstance  that 
the  Sultan's  sons  were  implicated  in  it.  Sir 
Andrew  Clarke  went  up  the  Langat  river  to 

peace  to  enjoy  himself  in  his  own  way — a  rather 
careless  heathen  philosopher,  who  showed  his 
character  in  one  of  the  conversations  on  the 
subject  of  piracy,  when  he  said,  "  Oh  !  those 
are  the  affairs  of  the  boys  "  (meaning  his  sons). 
"I  have  nothing  to  do  with  them."  Sir  Frank 
Swettenham  knew  the  Sultan  intimately,  and 
he  gives  a  sketch  of  him  which  tallies  with 
this  description.  The  Sultan  was  supposed,  he 
said,  to  have  killed  ninety -nine  men  with  his 
own  hand,  and  he  did  not  deny  the  imputa- 
tion.    He  was  "  a  spare,  wizened  man,  with  a 

E  * 



kindly  smile,  fond  of  a  good  story,  and  with 
a  strong  sense  of  humour.  His  amusements 
were  gardening  (in  which  he  sometimes 
showed  remarkable  energy),  hoarding  money 
and  tin,  of  which  he  was  supposed  to  have  a 
very  large  store  buried  under  his  house,  and 
smoking  opium  to  excess." 

Sir  Andrew  Clarke  took  the  old  fellow  in 
hand,  and  gave  him  a  thoroughly  undiplomatic 
talking  to  on  the  disgraceful  state  of  affairs  in 
his  State.  The  Sultan,  so  far  from  resenting 
this  treatment,  entered  quite  into  the  spirit  of 
the  Governor's  plans,  and  promised  to  do  his 
utmost  to  forward  them.  He  was  as  good  as 
his  word  ;  and  when  in  due  course  the 
prisoners  had  been  tried  by  the  Viceroy  and 
sentenced  to  death,  he  sent  his  own  kris  for 
use  at  the  execution.  The  episode  had  a  most 
salutary  effect  upon  the  pirates  of  the  locality. 
There  was  plenty  of  trouble  afterwards  in  the 
State  itself,  but  piracy  did  not  again  raise  its 
head  in  a  serious  form.  Meanwhile,  affairs 
were  proceeding  satisfactorily  in  I^arut.  Mr, 
Birch,  the  Colonial  Secretary,  who  made  a 
tour  of  the  area  early  in  1874,  was  greatly 
impressed  with  all  he  saw.  He  found  the 
Resident  busily  engaged  in  laying  out  streets  and 
building  lots,  and  was  surprised  to  find  many 
respectable  and  substantial  houses  already 
constructed.  All  around  was  an  animated 
scene  of  industry  and  good-fellowship,  where 
only  a  few  weeks  before  there  was  nothing 
but  misery,  ruin,  and  bloodshed.  The  road  to 
the  mines,  which  had  been  given  over  to  the 
Go  Kwan  Chinese,  was  in  very  fair  order  for 
carts  along  eight  miles  of  its  length,  shops 
were  rapidly  being  opened,  and  large  bodies 
of  men  were  engaged  in  reopening  the  mines. 
Mr.  Birch  added  these  details,  which  are  of 
interest  as  an  indication  of  the  whole-hearted 
way  in  which  the  settlement  arranged  b}'  Sir 
Andrew  Clarke  had  been  accepted  : 

"  The  See  Kwan  mines  are  situated  about  two 
miles  further,  and  here  also  a  small  township 
was  forming  rapidly,  and  it  is  anticipated  that  a 
few  months  hence  this  road  also  will  be  com- 
pleted. The  miners  here  are  already  at  work, 
and  although  a  short  time  ago  a  deadly  feud 
of  some  years'  duration  existed  between  these 
two  factions,  the  See  Kwan  miners  are  now 
to  be  seen  daily  bartering  at  the  shops  and 
feeding  at  the  eating-houses  in  the  Go  Kwan 
town.  The  Chinese  have  already  opened 
gardens,  and  even  in  these  few  weeks  a  fair 
supply  of  vegetables  was  available. 

"  The  results  of  the  tour  may  be  considered 
to  be  satisfactory.  The  greatest  courtesy  and 
kindness  were  exhibited  by  the  chiefs  and  in- 
habitants of  all  the  villages  except  Blanja  ; 
and  in  the  interior  a  good  deal  of  curiosity 
was  evinced  by  the  natives,  some  of  whom 
had  never  seen  a  white  man  before.  The 
whole  country  traversed  was  at  peace,  and 
there  is  reason  to  anticipate  that  the  appoint- 
ment of  British  Residents  will  foster  the 
feeling  of  security  that  now  prevails,  and  thus 
tend  to  develop  the  resources  of  the  peninsula." 

Unhappily,  these  sanguine  expectations  were 
not  realised  ;  but  it  was  so  generally  believed 
that  the  Residential  principle  would  cure  once 
for  all  the  grievous  malady  from  which  the 
Malay  States  were  suffering,  that  when,  on 
September   15,   il<74,  the   Government  of   the 

Straits  Settlements  had  occasion  to  seek  sanc- 
tion for  an  expenditure  of  54,000  dollars  on 
account  of  the  expenses  incurred  in  putting 
the  new  arrangements  into  operation,  the  grant 
was  made  by  the  Legislative  Council  with 
unanimity,  and  even  enthusiasm. 


The  Development  of  the  Residential 
System — Murder  of  Mr.  Birch. 

A\'hen  the  Residential  system  was  introduced 
into  the  Malay  States  by  Sir  .Andrew  Clarke  in 
the  circumstances  described  in  the  previous 
chapter,  it  was  hoped  that  at  last  a  remedy  had 
been  found  for  the  misgovernment  and  anarchy 
under  which  the  country  had  been  groaning 
for  generations.  Neither  the  authorities  on  the 
spot  nor  the  Government  at  home  had,  how- 
ever, made  sufficient  allowance  for  the  tenacity 
of  the  evil  system  which  it  was  hoped  to 
obliterate  by  moral  suasion  exercised  by  a  few 
British  officials.  Too  much  reliance  was  prob- 
ably placed  on  the  successful  working  of  the 
Residential  system  in  India.  It  was  forgotten, 
or  at  least  overlooked,  that  the  conditions  under 
which  this  form  of  supervision  was  exercised 
in  that  country  were  totally  different  to  those 
existing  in  the  Malay  States.  In  India  the 
native  chiefs  had  been  accustomed  by  gene- 
rations of  usage  to  regard  the  British  official 
placed  in  their  midst  as  an  authoritative  ex- 
ponent of  the  views  of  the  suzerain  Power. 
Experience,  oftentimes  bitter,  had  taught  them 
that  it  was  useless  to  kick  against  the  pricks, 
and  they  knew  that  though  an  official  might 
be  changed  the  system  would  exist,  dislike  it 
as  they  might.  Quite  different  was  the  position 
in  Malaya,  where  a  sturdy  race,  with  marked 
independence  of  character,  and  with  their 
naturally  pugnacious  qualities  sharpened  by 
generations  of  incessant  strife,  had  to  be 
brought  to  the  realisation  of  the  existence  of 
a  new  influence  which  meant  for  many  of 
them  the  loss  of  much  that  went  to  make  life, 
if  not  enjoyable,  at  least  interesting.  It  was 
the  old  story  of  Britain  trying  to  accomplish 
a  great  work  with  inadequate  means.  The 
Government  wanted  to  bring  the  Malay  States 
under  their  control,  and  they  foolishly,  as  it 
seems  to-day,  as  it  ought  to  have  appeared  even 
then,  expected  they  could  achieve  the  desired 
result  by  simply  placing  their  agents  at  par- 
ticular points  to  direct  the  perverse  Malay 
character  into  the  paths  of  peace  rather  than 
into  those  of  rapine  and  demoralising  inter- 
necine war.  A  rude  awakening  awaited  the 
authorities  before  the  new  arrangements  had 
been  long  in  operation. 

The  new  regime  was  ushered  in  by  a  pro- 
clamation issued  by  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  in 
Xovember,  1874,  announcing  the  introduction, 
with  the  sanction  of  the  Secretary  for  the 
Colonies,  of  arrangements  for  the  control  of 
the  Malay  States,  and  intimating  that  the 
Government  would  hold  those  concerned  to 
the  strict  observance  of  their  engagements. 
At  the  same  time  the  following  appointments 
were  made  public  :  Mr.  J.  W.  Birch,  Resident 
of  Perak  on  a  salary  of  ^2,000  a  year,   with 

Captain  Speedy  as  Assistant-Resident  at  Larut 
on  ;£i,5oo  a  year  ;  Mr.  J.  G.  Davidson,  Resident 
of  Selangor  (attending  on  the  Viceroy  Tunku 
Dia  Oodin)  on  £1,500  a  year,  with  Mr.  (after- 
wards Sir)  F.  A.  Swettenham  as  Assistant  on 
.£750  a  year.  Captain  Tatham,  R.A.,  was 
appointed,  as  a  temporary  measure,  Assistant- 
Resident  of  Sungei  Ujong.  At  the  outset  all 
seemed  fairly  plain  sailing.  The  Residents' 
authority  was  outwardly  respected,  their  advice 
was  listened  to,  and  the  revenue  in  Larut, 
which  under  the  Treaty  was  to  be  collected 
by  the  British,  was  got  in  without  trouble. 
But  beneath  the  surface  there  was  a  smoulder- 
ing discontent  ready  to  burst  into  flame,  given 
the  proper  amount  of  provocation.  And  the 
provocation  was  not  wanting.  It  was  forth- 
coming in  numerous  ways  from  the  moment 
that  the  British  officials,  with  their  notions  of 
equity  and  justice  and  their  direct  methods  of 
dealing,  came  into  contact  with  the  life  of  the 
States.  The  collection  of  revenue  in  Larut 
touched  the  Mantri  on  a  raw  spot,  and  the 
Mantri  was  an  influential  personage  whose  ill- 
will  meant  much  in  a  situation  such  as  that 
which  existed  at  the  time.  He  was  not  alone 
in  his  dissatisfaction  at  the  turn  of  events. 
Raja  Ismail  resented  Abdullah's  recognition 
as  Sultan,  and  the  people  generally  sided  with 
him.  Raja  Yusuf  was,  if  anything,  more 
inimical  to  the  new  regime.  He  did  not  even 
trouble  to  conceal  his  intention  to  upset  it  if  he 
could.  Sultan  Abdullah  himself  fretted  under 
the  chains  which  the  new  dispensation  im- 
posed upon  his  ill-regulated  methods  of  what, 
for  want  of  a  better  term,  we  may  call  govern- 
ment. While  there  was  this  disaffection 
amongst  the  chiefs,  there  were  influences  in 
operation  disturbing  the  minds  of  the  general 
body  of  the  population.  Mr.  Birch,  with  the 
honest  Briton's  hatred  of  oppression,  interested 
himself  energetically  in  the  righting  of  wrongs, 
of  which  Perak  at  that  period  furnished  abun- 
dant examples.  One  practice  against  which  he 
set  his  face  resolutely  was  the  custom  of  debt 
slavery,  under  which  individuals — even  women 
and  children — were  held  in  bondage  to  their 
debtors  for  payments  due.  How  this  degrading 
usage  worked  is  well  illustrated  by  a  story  told 
by  Captain  Speedy  in  one  of  his  early  reports. 
One  day  a  Malay  policeman  asked  him  for  the 
loan  of  25  dollars.  On  inquiring  the  reason 
for  this  request,  Captain  Speedy  was  told  that 
the  money  was  required  to  secure  the  libera- 
tion of  an  aunt  who  was  a  slave  debtor  to  a 
man  in  a  certain  village.  She  had  fallen  into 
slavery  under  the  following  circumstances. 
Some  six  months  previously  the  woman  was 
passing  by  a  village  when  she  met  an  acquain- 
tance and  stopped  to  converse  with  her.  Taking 
a  stone  from  the  roadside,  the  man's  aunt 
placed  it  on  the  pathway,  and  sat  down  to  rest 
meanwhile.  When  she  departed  she  left  the 
stone  on  the  path.  About  an  hour  afterwards 
a  child  from  the  village  came  running  along 
the  path,  and  her  foot  catching  against  the 
stone,  she  fell,  and  slightly  cut  her  forehead. 
Inquiries  were  made  as  to  how  the  stone  came 
in  the  path,  and  the  fact  of  the  aunt  having 
placed  it  there  becoming  known,  she  was 
arrested,  and  sentenced  to  pay  25  dollars. 
Being  poor  and  totally  unable  to  pay,  she 
and  her    children    became,   according  to  the 



Malay  phrase,  "  bar-utang  " — or  slaves — to  the 
father  of  the  child  who  had  been  hurt.  Cap- 
tain Speedy  paid  the  fine,  and  secured  the 
release  of  the  woman  and  her  children,  but 
not  without  considerable  difficulty.  Such  a 
system,  of  course,  was  utterly  subversive  of . 
all  personal  rights,  but  it  was  a  usage  which 
had  immemorial  sanction  amongst  the  Malays, 
and  they  adhered  to  it  with  a  tenacity  charac- 
teristic of  a  people  who  are  deeply  attached 
to  their  national  habits.  Mr.  Birch's  efforts  to 
suppress  it,  persistently  and  resolutely  prose- 
cuted, were  bitterly  resented,  and  by  none 
more  than  by  the  chiefs,  who  were  amongst 
the  worst  offenders.  The  almost  natural 
results  followed.  "  The  chiefs  of  every  grade," 
says  Sir  Frank  Swettenham,  "  made  common 
cause  against  a  Resident  who  scoured  the 
country,  inquired  into  and  pushed  home  their 
evil  deeds,  and  endeavoured  to  put  a  stop  to 
them.  Therefore,  some  began  to  conspire  to 
compass  his  death  or  removal,  and  others 
looked  idly  on,  conscious  of  what  was  brew- 
ing, but  not  anxious  to  take  a  hand  if  they 
could  avoid  it.  Only  the  poor  and  oppressed 
recognised  and  were  grateful  for  all  the  many 
kindnesses  they  received  from  the  Resident  ; 
for  when  he  was  not  busy  finding  out  all  about 
the  country  and  its  resources,  or  writing  in- 
structions and  suggestions  for  its  development 
and  administration,  he  was  tending  the  sick  or 
giving  generous  help  to  those  most  in  need  of 
it.  Unfortunately,  he  did  not  speak  Malay  or 
understand  the  customs  and  prejudices  of  the 
people,  and  to  this  cause  more  than  any  other 
his  death  must  be  attributed." 

Before  the  circumstances  under  which  Mr. 
Birch  was  killed  are  narrated,  it  is  necessary 
to  make  a  survey  of  the  general  position  as  it 
existed  in  the  months  immediately  preceding 
the  deplorable  event.  When  Sir  W.  F.  D. 
Jervois  arrived  in  Singapore  as  the  successor 
to  Sir  Andrew  Clarke  at  the  end  of  May, 
187s,  he  found  himself  confronted  with  reports 
from  the  Residents  revealing  a  very  unsatis- 
factory state  of  affairs  in  the  Malay  States. 
There  was  considerable  unrest  and  an  in- 
creasing disposition  on  the  part  of  the  chiefs 
to  oppose  the  Residents.  The  new  Governor 
set  himself  to  study  very  carefully  the  problem 
with  which  it  was  obvious  he  would  soon  have 
to  deal — the  problem  of  harmonising  British 
supervision  of  the  States  with  a  proper  regard 
for  native  rights  and  susceptibilities.  He  came 
to  the  conclusion,  after  several  months'  investi- 
gation, that  it  would  be  wise  for  him  to  examine 
the  situation  on  the  spot,  with  the  help  of  those 
best  in  a  position  to  give  him  advice  and  assis- 
tance. Accordingly  he  proceeded  to  Perak, 
interviewed  Sultan  Abdullah,  Raja  Ismael, 
and  Raja  Yusuf,  conferred  with  Mr.  Birch 
and  Mr.  Davidson,  and  then  returned  to  Singa- 
pore. The  impression  he  obtained  from  his 
journey  was  that  the  arrangements  made  by 
his  predecessor  had  broken  down,  and  that  a 
change  in  methods  was  imperatively  de- 
manded. He  therefore  determined  on  his 
own  authority  to  make  a  new  departure  of  a 
rather  striking  kind.  He  decided  to  convert 
the  Residents  into  Commissioners,  and  to  give 
them  with  the  new  title  a  more  tangible  status 
as  advisers  in  the  States.  A  proclamation  em- 
bodying the  Governor's  views  was  drawn  up. 

and  the  Sultan  Abdullah  was  required  to  sign 
documents  accepting  the  new  policy.  He 
resolutely  declined  for  a  time  to  do  what  was 
required,  but  with  the  exercise  of  considerable 
pressure,  and  after  he  had  received  not  obscure 
hints  that  he  would  be  deposed  if  he  did  not 
yield,  he  appended  his  signature.  In  adopting 
the  course  he  did  Sir  Wm.  Jervois  was  doubtless 
actuated  by  the  best  motives,  but  it  must  be 
acknowledged  that  he  took  to  himself  an 
astonishing  amount  of  liberty,  having  regard 
to  the  grave  issues  involved.  At  least  it  might 
have  been  expected  that  he  would  have  in- 
formed the  Government  at  home  by  cable  of 
the  fact  that  he  had  been  driven  to  inaugurate 
changes.  He,  however,  failed  to  do  so,  and 
later,  as  we  shall  see,  drew  upon  himself  an 
uncommon  measure  of  rebuke  for  his  inde- 
pendent action. 

When  the  proclamations  had  been  fully 
prepared,  arrangements  were  made  for  their 
distribution  in  the  districts  concerned  as  an 
outward  and  visible  token  of  the  determination 
of  the  Government  to  make  their  supervision 
of  the  States  a  reality.     Mr.  Swettenham  took 


with  him  from  Singapore  a  bundle  of  the  docu- 
ments and  handed  them  over  to  Mr.  Birch  at 
Bandar  Bharu.  "  I  found  him,''  writes  the 
gifted  administrator  (whose  vivid  narrative  of 
this  tragic  episode  in  the  history  of  the  Malay 
States  is  the  best  account  of  the  occurrences 
extant)  "  suffering  from  a  sprained  ankle  and 
only  able  to  walk  with  the  help  of  crutches. 
Lieut.  Abbott,  R.N.,  and  four  bluejackets  were 
with  him,  and  on  the  night  of  my  arrival  the 
sergeant-major  of  Mr.  Birch's  Indian  guard 
(about  eighty  Pathans,  Sikhs,  and  Punjabis) 
behaved  so  badly  that  he  had  to  be  confined 
in  the  guard-room,  while  his  men  were  in 
a  state  bordering  on  mutiny. 

"  It  was  then  arranged  that  I  should  go  up 
river  to  a  village  called  Kota  Lama,  above 
Kuala  Kangsa,  a  village  with  the  worst  repute 
in  Perak,  and  distribute  the  proclamations  in 
the  Upper  Country,  returning  about  the  3rd  of 
November  to  meet  Mr.  Birch  at  Pasir  Salak, 
the  village  of  the  Maharaja  Lela,  five  miles 
above  Bandar  Bharu.  Mr.  Birch,  meanwhile, 
was  to  go  down  river  and  distribute  the  pro- 
clamations    amongst     Abdullah's     adherents, 

where  no  trouble  was  expected,  and  we  were 
to  join  forces  at  Pasir  Siilak  because  the 
Maharaja  Lela  was  believed  to  have  declared 
that  he  would  not  take  instructions  from  the 
Resident,  and  it  was  known  that  he  had  built 
himself  a  new  house  and  had  recently  been 
protecting  it  by  a  strong  earthwork  and 
palisade.  Therefore,  if  there  was  to  be 
trouble  it  would  probably  be  there.  What 
was  only  disclosed  long  afterwards  was  that, 
as  soon  as  he  had  consented  to  the  new 
arrangement,  Abdullah  summoned  his  chiefs 
(including  the  Maharaja  Lela  and  the  Dato' 
Siigor,  who  lived  at  Kampong  Gajah,  on  the 
opposite  bank  of  the  river  to  Pasir  Salak)  and 
told  them  that  he  had  handed  over  the 
government  of  the  country  to  Mr.  Birch.  The 
Maharaja  Lela,  however,  said  that  he  would 
not  accept  any  orders  from  the  Resident,  and 
if  Mr.  Birch  came  to  his  Kampong  he  would 
kill  him.  Asked  whether  he  really  intended 
to  keep  his  word,  he  replied  that  he  certainly 
meant  it.  The  Dato'  Sagor  also  said  that  he 
was  of  one  mind  with  the  Maharaja  Lela. 
The  meeting  then  broke  up  and  the  members 
returned  to  their  own  villages.  Later,  when 
the  proclamations  arrived,  the  Sultan  again 
sent  for  the  chiefs,  showed  them  the  papers, 
and  asked  what  they  thought  of  them.  The 
Laksamana  said,  '  Down  here,  in  the  lower 
part  of  the  river,  we  must  accept  them.'  But 
the  Maharaja  Lela  said,  '  In  my  Kampong,  I 
will  not  allow  any  white  man  to  post  these 
proclamations.  If  they  insist,  there  will  cer- 
tainly be  a  fight.'  To  this  the  Sultan  and  the 
other  chiefs  said,  'Very  well.'  The  Maharaja 
Lela  immediately  left,  and,  having  loaded  his 
boats  with  rice,  returned  up  river  to  his  own 

Mr.  Swettenham  left  Bandar  Bharu  at  noon 
on  October  28th,  and  as  he  went  up  stream 
Mr.  Birch  was  proceeding  down.  The  further 
Mr.  Swettenham  went  up  the  river  the  more 
threatening  became  the  talk.  He,  however, 
posted  his  proclamations  at  various  points 
without  encountering  any  overt  act  of  hostility. 
On  November  4th,  his  work  being  done,  he 
started  down  river,  intending  to  spend  the  night 
at  Blanja  ;  but  on  arriving  there  he  was  told  that 
Mr.  Birch  had  been  killed  by  the  Maharaja 
Lela's  people  at  Pasir  Salak  on  November  2nd. 
The  news  induced  him  to  continue  his  journey, 
and  though  he  had  been  informed  that  the  river 
had  been  staked  at  Pasir  Salak  with  the  object  of 
intercepting  him,  his  boats  passed  that  danger 
point  without  being  challenged.  At  daylight 
the  next  morning  he  returned  up  the  river  to 
Bandar  Bharu  and  there  and  afterwards  heard 
the  details  of  Mr.  Birch's  assassination. 

He  had  done  his  work  in  the  low  country 
more  quickly  than  he  expected,  and  reached 
Pasir  Salak  at  midnight  on  November  1st 
with  three  boats,  containing  the  Resident, 
Lieut.  Abbott,  R.N.,  a  guard  of  twelve  Sikhs, 
an  orderly,  a  Malay  interpreter,  and  a  number 
of  boatmen.  In  all  the  party  numbered  about 
forty  men,  and  they  had  plenty  of  arms  and 
anununition.  They  anchored  in  midstream  for 
the  night,  and  at  daylight  hauled  to  the  bank, 
when  Mr.  Abbott  crossed  to  the  other  side  of 
the  river  to  shoot  snipe,  and  Mr.  Birch  sent  a 
message  to  the  Maharaja  Lela  to  say  that  he 
would  be  glad  to  see  him,  either  at  the  boats 



or  in  his  own  house.  To  the  interpreter  who 
carried  the  message  the  chief  said,  "  I  have 
nothing  to  do  with  Mr.  Birch." 

"  Some  days  earlier  the  Maharaja  Lela 
had  summoned  all  his  people  and  told  them 
that  Mr.  Birch  would  shortly  come  to  Pasir 
Salak,  and  if  he  attempted  to  post  any  notices 
there  the  orders  of  the  Sultan  and  the  down- 
river chiefs  were  that  he  should  be  killed.  The 
people  replied  that  if  those  were  the  orders 
they  would  carry  them  out,  and  the  Maharaja 
Lela  then  handed  his  sword  to  a  man  called 
Pandak  Indut,  his  father-in-law,  and  told  the 
people  to  take  Pandak  Indut's  directions  as 
though  they  were  his  own.  Directly  Mr. 
Birch  arrived  messengers  were  sent  out  to 
collect  the  people,  and,  before  the  sun  was  hot, 
there  were  already  about  seventy  armed  men 
on  the  bank  above  Mr.  Birch's  boats.  The 
Dato'  Sagor  had  come  over  from  the  other  side 
(in  the  boat  which  had  taken  Mr.  Abbott 
across),  and  he  had  seen  and  spoken  to  Mr. 
Birch  and  was  now  with  the  Maharaja  Lela. 
By  Mr.  Birch's  orders  the  interpreter  posted  a 
proclamation  on  the  shop  of  a  Chinese  gold- 
smith, close  to  the  bank,  and  this  paper  was 
torn  down  by  Pandak  Indut  and  taken  to 
the  Maharaja  Lela,  the  occurrence  being  at  the 
same  time  reported  to  Mr.  Birch.  The  crowd 
on  the  bank  were  showing  distinct  signs  of 
restiveness  ;  but  the  boatmen  began  to  make 
fires  to  cook  rice,  and  Mr.  Birch  went  to  take 
his  bath  in  a  floating  bath-house  by  the  river 
bank,  his  Sikh  orderly  standing  at  the  door 
with  a  loaded  revolver.  The  interpreter  was 
putting  up  another  copy  of  the  proclamation 
when  Panduk  Indut  tore  it  down,  and  as  the 
interpreter  remonstrated,  Pandak  Indut  thrust 
a  spear  into  him  and  cried  out,  '  .^mok ! 
amok  !  '  The  crowd  instantly  rushed  for  the 
bath-house,  and  attacked  the  boatmen  and  any 
of  the  Resident's  party  within  reach.  Spears 
were  thrust  through  the  bath-house,  and  Mr. 
Birch  sank  into  the  river,  coming  to  the  surface 
just  below  the  bath-house,  when  he  was  im- 
mediately slashed  on  the  head  with  a  sword 
and  was  not  seen  again.  Mr.  Birch's  Sikh 
orderly  had  jumped  into  the  river  when  the 
first  rush  was  made  at  the  bath-house,  and  he 
swam  to  a  boat,  taking  great  care  to  save  the 
revolver,  which  he  had  not  fired,  from  getting 
wet !  The  interpreter  struggled  to  the  river, 
and  was  helped  into  a  boat  by  two  of  Mr. 
Birch's  Malays,  but  he  died  very  shortly  after- 
wards. A  Sikh  and  a  Malay  boatman  were 
also  killed,  and  several  of  the  others  were 
wounded  ;  but  the  rest  with  great  difficulty  got 
away.  Mr.  Abbott,  on  the  other  bank,  was 
warned  of  what  had  occurred,  and  managed  to 
get  a  dugout  and  escape,  running  the  fire  from 
both  banks. 

"Then  the  Maharaja  Lela  came  out  and  asked 
who  were  those  who  had  actually  had  a  hand 
in  the  killing.  Pandak  Indut  and  the  others  at 
once  claimed  credit  for  the  deed,  and  the  chief 
ordered  that  only  those  who  had  struck  blows 
should  share  in  the  spoils.  Then  he  said,  '  Go 
and  tell  the  Laksamana  I  have  killed  Mr. 
Birch.'  The  message  was  duly  delivered,  and 
the  Laksamana  said,  '  Very  well,  I  will  inform 
the  Sultan.'  The  same  evening  the  Maharaja 
Lela  sent  Mr.  Birch's  boat  to  Blanja,  with  the 
letter  to  ex-Sultan  Ismail  describing  what  he 

had  done.  Ismail  was  much  too  clever  to  keep 
the  boat,  so  he  sent  it  back  again.  All  the 
arms  and  other  property  were  removed  to  the 
Maharaja  Lela's  house,  and  orders  were  given 
to  build  stockades,  to  stake  the  river,  and  to 
amok  the  Resident's  station  at  Bandar  Bharu. 
The  party  sent  on  this  last  errand  returned 
without  accomplishing  their  object ;  for  when 
they  got  near  the  place  it  began  to  rain,  and 
the  people  in  the  house  where  they  took  shelter 
told  them  that  they  would  get  a  warm  recep- 
tion at  Bandar  Bliaru,  and  it  would  be  quite 
a  different  thing  to  murdering  the  Resident." 

By  the  help  of  a  friendly  Malay,  a  foreigner, 
Mr.  Birch's  body  was  recovered  and  buried  at 
Bandar  Bharu  on  November  6th. 

The  news  of  Mr.  Birch's  assassination 
speedily  reached  Singapore  and  created  a  pain- 
ful sensation.  There  had  often  been  trouble 
with  the  Malays,  but  in  the  whole  history  of 
British  dealings  with  the  race,  from  the  time  that 
British  power  had  become  firmly  established 
in  the  Straits,  there  had  never  been  previously 
a  case  in  which  a  leading  official  had  been  put 
to  death  in  the  treacherous  circumstances 
which  marked  this  incident.  Sir  William 
Jervois  took  immediate  steps  to  strengthen 
the  British  forces  in  the  disturbed  area.  A 
detachment  consisting  of  two  officers  and 
60  men  of  the  loth  Regiment  was  sent 
immediately  from  Pinang,  and  arrangements 
were  made  for  further  reinforcements.  The 
Governor  believed  at  the  time  that  the  murder 
was  an  isolated  incident  which  might  be  dealt 
with  without  difficulty,  and  he  cabled  to  the 
Government  at  home  in  that  sense.  But  he 
was  speedily  disillusioned.  The  Pinang  de- 
tachment, reinforced  by  four  bluejackets  and  a 
small  body  of  Sikhs,  on  attempting  to  carry 
Pasir  Salak,  failed.  Meanwhile  ominous 
rumours  were  daily  coming  in  of  serious 
trouble  in  Selangor  and  the  Negri  Sambilan. 
In  the  circumstances  Sir  Williain  Jervois 
deemed  it  wise  to  make  a  requisition  on  the 
home  Government  for  a  considerable  force 
of  white  troops  to  overcome  the  disaffected 
elements  in  the  States  and  restore  British 
prestige.  The  demand  seriously  disturbed  the 
equanimity  of  the  authorities  in  Downing 
Street,  whose  natural  dishke  of  "  little  wars  " 
in  this  instance  was  accentuated  by  a  belief 
that  the  trouble  had  been  brought  on  by  the 
high-handed  policy  of  the  Governor.  Lord 
Carnarvon  peremptorily  cabled  out  for  informa- 
tion and  wanted  to  know  why  a  force  of  1,500 
bayonets,  with  artillery,  50  miles  of  telegraphic 
apparatus,  and  a  million  of  cartridges — the 
specific  requisition  made — should  be  required 
to  deal  with  an  "  isolated  outrage." 

Sir  William  Jervois  was  absent  from  Singa- 
pore directing  the  preparations  for  the  sup- 
pression of  the  disturbances  when  the  message 
arrived.  Receiving  no  reply,  the  Secretary  for 
the  Colonies  telegraphed  again  in  urgent  terms, 
intimating  that  the  Government  disapproved 
altogether  of  the  Governor's  policy,  and  that 
the  troops  which  were  being  sent  "  must  not 
be  employed  for  annexation  or  other  political 
objects."  "  Her  Majesty's  Government,"  the 
message  proceeded,  "  cannot  adopt  the  prin- 
ciple of  the  permanent  retention  of  troops 
in  peninsula  to  maintain  Residents  or  other 
officers  ;   and    unless    natives  are    willing    to 

receive  them  on  footing  originally  sanctioned 
of    simply   advising    the    ruling    authorities    I 
doubt  whether  their  continuance  in  the  country 
can  be  sanctioned."    Lord  Carnarvon  followed 
this    communication  with  a  despatch  by  post 
in  which  he  referred  severely  to  "the  grave 
errors  of  policy  and  of   action"   which  had 
marked  the   Governor's  policy.      Sir  William 
Jervois  explained  by  cable  that  the  large  body 
of  troops  asked  for  was  required  for  the  re- 
assertion  of  British  authority,  and  to  prevent 
the  spread  of  the  disturbances  in  adjoining  dis- 
tricts.     At  a    later    period    Lord    Carnarvon 
again,  and  at  much  greater  length,  addressed 
Sir    William    Jervois,  the   despatch    being    a 
review  of  the  latter's  own  despatch  of  October 
l6th  previously,  in  which  he  for  the  first  time 
described   the   new   policy  which  he  was  in- 
augurating.    The   Secretary  for  the  Colonies 
referred    particularly    to    a    passage    in    this 
despatch  in   which    the    Governor   said    that 
before  his  interviews  with   the  chiefs  he  had 
inclined  to  the   opinion  that  the  best  course 
to  adopt  would  be  to  declare  Perak  British 
territory  ;  but  that  on  weighing  well  the  im- 
pressions conveyed  by  the  interviews  with  the 
chiefs,  it  did  not  appear  to  be    expedient  at 
present  that  this   course   should   be  adopted, 
and  he  had  therefore  determined,  if  the  Sultan 
could  be  induced  to  agree,  to  adopt  the  policy 
of  governing  Perak  by  British  oflicers  in  his 
name.     Commenting  on  this.  Lord  Carnarvon 
acridly  remarked  that  he  did  not  know  how 
far  this  middle  course  differed  from  an  as- 
sumption of  actual  sovereignty,  but  what  had 
been  done  constituted  "  large  and  important 
changes  as  to  which  you  had  no  ground  for 
supposing     that     her    Majesty's    Government 
would  approve  a  very  material  departure  from 
the  policy  which  had  been  previously  sanc- 
tioned as  an  experiment."    It  would,  of  course, 
have  been  right  and  proper,  if  he  were  con- 
vinced   of     the    inefficacy    of     the     existing 
arrangements,   if  he  had  laid    his    proposals 
before    Government.      But    instead   of    doing 
that  he  at  once  issued  a  proclamation  which 
altered  the  whole  system  of  government  and 
affected  in  a  more  or  less  degree  avast  number 
of  individual  interests,   provoking  apparently 
the  crisis  with  which  they  had  now  to  contend. 
The  despatch  suggested  that  if  it  had  been 
found   necessary  to  introduce    a    change    of 
policy  the  telegraph  ought  to  have  been  used. 
"  I  am  altogether  unable  to  understand  how 
you  came  to  omit  this  obvious  duty,"  proceeded 
Lord   Carnarvon.     "  I  can  only  conclude  that, 
being  convinced  of  the  soundness  of  your  own 
judgment,  you  acted  in  lamentable  forgetful- 
ness  of  the   fact  that  you   had   no  authority 
whatever    for    what   you  were   doing."      Sir 
William    Jervois's    reply    to    these    strictures 
cannot  be  described  as  con\incing.    He  argued 
that  he  had  not  really  changed  the  policy  of 
dealing  with  the  States.    The  action  he  had 
taken  was,  he  said,  merely  a  natural  develop- 
ment of  the  policy  introduced  by  Sir  Andrew 
Clarke  with  the  sanction  of  the  Government. 
With  more  force  he  maintained  that  the  con- 
dition of  disorder  into  which  the  States  had 
fallen  could  not  have  been  allowed  to  continue 
without  serious  detriment  to  British  interests 
immediately,  and  possibly  creating  a  situation 
later  vt-hich  would  menace  the  stability  of  the 



British  possessions  themselves.  Lord  Carnar- 
von, in  aclcnowledging  the  despatch,  reaffirmed 
his  views,  and  gave  emphatic  instructions  that 
no  step  affecting  the  political  situation  was  to 
be  taken  by  the  Straits  Government  pending 
the  consideration  of  the  question  of  future 
policy  by  the  Home  Government.  On  June  i, 
1876,  Lord  Carnarvon  wrote  sanctioning  the 
continuance  of  the  Residential  system,  and 
also  approving  the  institution  of  Councils  of 
State  in  the  protected  States.  The  despatch 
strongly  insisted  upon  the  exercise  of  caution 
in  the  execution  of  this  policy. 

While  this  angry  controversy  was  proceed- 
ing a  strong  British  force  was  operating  in  the 
disturbed  area.  At  quite  an  early  stage  in  the 
little  campaign  the  local  troops,  reinforced  by 
a  naval  brigade,  had  wiped  out  the  initial 
failure  at  Pasir  Salak,  in  which  Captain  Innes, 
R.E.,  had  been  killed,  and  two  officers  of  the 
loth  Regiment  severely  wounded,  by  carry- 
ing the  stockade  at  that  point,  and  burning  the 
villages  of  the  Maharaja  Lela  and  the  Dato' 
Sagor.  But  the  country  by  this  time  was 
thoroughly  aroused,  and  the  expeditionary 
force  proved  none  too  large  for  the  work  in 
hand.  The  troops  consisted  of  the  3rd  (Buffs) 
Regiment,  600  strong,  300  officers  and  men  of 
the  8oth  Regiment,  200  officers  and  men  of  the 
loth  Regiment,  a  battery  and  half  of  Royal 
Artillery,  the  1st  Gurkhas,  450  strong,  and  a 
party  of  Bengal  sappers  numbering  80  men. 
There  was  also  a  strong  naval  brigade,  drawn 
from  H.M.'s  ships  Mocieste,  Thistle,  Philomel, 
Ringdove,  and  Fly.  The  whole  were  under  the 
command  of  Major-General  the  Hon.  F.  Col- 
borne,  C.B.,  and  Brigadier-General  John  Ross. 
With  the  headquarters  of  the  China  troops 
established  at  Bandar  Bharu,  and  with  the 
Indian  troops  based  at  Kuala  Kangsa,  a  series 
of  expeditions  was  organised  against  the  dis- 
affected Malays  under  the  Maharaja  Lela, 
the  Dato'  Sagor,  and  the  ex-Sultan  Ismail. 
Transport  difficulties  hampered  the  movements 
of  the  troops  considerably,  but  eventually  the 
Maharaja  Lela  was  driven'  across  the  border 
into  Kedah,  and  the  country  settled  down. 
Perak  continued  to  be  occupied  by  British 
troops  for  some  little  time  after  the  restoration 
of  peace.  Their  presence  had  a  good  effect  in 
convincing  the  natives  that  the  old  order  had 
been  changed  irrevocably,  and  when  at  length 
they  were  replaced  with  a  police  force,  the  out- 
look was  perfectly  peaceful.  Meanwhile,  how- 
ever, the  situation  in  the  Negri  Sambilan  was 
causing  a  good  deal  of  anxiety.  An  attack  on 
a  survey  party,  despatched  from  Sungei  Ujong 
across  the  border  into  Terachi,  led  up  to  a  series 
of  military  operations  of  a  somewhat  arduous 
character.  The  Malays  fought  with  determi- 
nation, and  it  required  a  very  considerable 
force  to  dispose  of  them.  They  were  ultimately 
driven  off,  thanks  to  the  courageous  action  of 
Captain  Channer,  who,  with  a  party  of  Gur- 
khas, rushed  a  stockade  which  commanded  the 
rest  of  the  position.  For  this  gallantry  Captain 
Channer  was  awarded  the  Victoria  Cross — a 
decoration  which  he  had  richly  earned,  for  his 
act  was  not  only  a  singularly  brave  one,  but  it 
was  the  main  factor  in  bringing  to  a  successful 
conclusion  what  might  have  been  a  long, 
wearisome,  and  costly  business. 

On  the  termination  of  the  military  operations. 

it  only  remained  to  mete  out  justice  to  those 
who  had  been  directly  concerned  in  Mr. 
Birch's  assassination.  Information  collected 
by  a  Commission  specially  appointed  to  in- 
vestigate the  troubles  plainly  pointed  to  the 
Sultan  Abdullah,  the  Mantri,  the  Dato'  Laksa- 
mana,  and  the  Dato'  Shabandar  as  the  accom- 
plices of  the  Maharaja  Lela  and  Pandak  Indut 
in  the  crime.  The  four  first  mentioned  were 
all  exiled  to  the  Seychelles  at  a  comparatively 
early  period  of  the  investigation.  The  Maha- 
raja Lela  and  others,  after  eluding  pursuit  for 
several  months,  in  July,  1876,  gave  themselves 
up  to  the  Maharaja  of  Johore,  and  by  him 
were  handed  over  to  the  British  authorities. 
They  were  tried  at  Larut  by  a  special  tribunal 
composed  of  Raja  Yusuf  and  Raja  Husein, 
with  Mr.  Davidson  and  Mr.  W.  E.  Maxwell  as 
British  assessors.  They  were  found  guilty  and 
condemned  to  death.  The  Maharaja  Lela, 
the  Dato'  Sagar,  and  Pandak  Indut  were 
executed.  In  the  case  of  the  other  prisoners 
the  sentences  were  commuted  to  imprisonment 
for  life.  Thus  was  a  foul  crime  avenged.  The 
punishment,  though  severe,  was  necessary  to 

SIR    W.    C.    F.    ROBINSON. 

bring  home  to  the  population  of  the  Malay 
States  the  determination  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment to  protect  its  officials,  and  the  certainty 
of  retribution  in  cases  in  which  injur}'  was 
done  to  them.  Tlie  Malays  recognised  the 
substantial  justice  of  the  sentences.  The  more 
influential  of  them  took  the  view  expressed  by 
the  two  Rajas  in  announcing  their  judgment — 
that  the  accused  had  not  only  been  guilty  of 
murder,  but  of  treason,  since  they  had  taken 
upon  themselves  to  assassinate  one  who  had 
been  invited  to  the  State  by  the  responsible 
chiefs,  and  was  in  a  sense  the  country's  guest. 
Politically  the  trial  and  its  sequel  had  a  great 
and  salutary  influence  throughout  the  penin- 
sula. It  was  accepted  as  a  sign  that  the 
British  Government  now  really  meant  to 
assert  itself,  and  would  no  longer  tolerate 
the  conditions  of  misgovernment  which  had 
for  generations  existed  in  the  States.  Opposi- 
tion there  continued  to  be  for  a  good  many 
years,  as  was  natural,  having  regard  to  the 
Malay  character,  and  the  immensity  of  the 
change  which  the  new  order  made  in 
the  national  system  of  life.  But  there  was 
no  overt  act  of  hostility,  and  gradually,  as  the 

benefits  of  peace  and  unhampered  trade  were 
brought  home  to  them  in  tangible  fashion,  the 
inhabitants  were  completely  won  over  to  the 
side  of  progressive  administration.  Thus  Mr. 
Birch,  as  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  aptly  says, 
did  not  die  in  vain.  "  His  death  freed  the 
country  from  an  abominable  thraldom,  and 
was  indirectly  the  means  of  bringing  inde- 
pendence, justice,  and  comfort  to  tens  of 
thousands  of  sorely  oppressed  people." 

Lord  Carnarvon's  instructions  that  the  Resi- 
dential system  was  to  be  reintroduced  with 
caution  were  interpreted  very  literally  by  the 
Singapore  authorities.  They  dealt  with  crush- 
ing severity  with  an  official  who  seemed  to 
them  to  go  a  little  beyond  the  strict  letter  of 
his  instructions.  The  offender  was  Captain 
Douglas,  the  Resident  of  Selangor.  In  the 
early  part  of  1878  a  report  was  made  to  him 
that  Tunku  Panglima,  the  Panghulu  of  Kau- 
chong,  near  the  entrance  of  the  Jugra  river,  a 
member  of  the  Mixed  Council  on  50  dollars  a 
month,  had  offered  a  bribe  of  40  dollars  to 
Mr.  Newbrunner,  the  Collector  and  Magistrate 
of  the  district,  to  influence  him  in  a  judicial 
proceeding.  Captain  Douglas  had  the  peccant 
chief  arrested,  and  subsequently  ordered  his 
removal  from  the  Council  and  the  reduction  of 
his  allowance  by  half  to  bring  home  to  him 
the  enormity  of  his  offence.  The  matter  was 
reported  in  due  course  to  headquarters  at 
Singapore,  with  results  little  anticipated  by  the 
Resident  of  Selangor.  The  Executive  Council 
same  to  the  unanimous  resolution  that  the 
action  of  the  Resident  "  was  uncalled  for  and 
extra  vires,  and  that  he  should  be  instructed  to 
advise  the  Sultan  to  reinstate  the  Panglima 
Raja  as  a  member  of  Council."  Not  content 
with  this  drastic  measure.  Sir  W.  C.  F.  Robinson, 
who  in  1877  had  succeeded  Sir  William  Jervois 
as  Governor  on  the  tatter's  appointment  to 
report  on  the  defences  of  Australia,  issued  the 
following  "Instructions  to  Residents  ':  "His 
Excellency  desires  that  you  should  be  reminded 
that  the  Residents  have  been  placed  in  the 
native  States  as  advisers  and  not  as  rulers,  and 
if  they  take  upon  themselves  to  disregard  this 
principle  they  will  most  assuredly  be  held 
responsible  if  trouble  springs  out  of  their 
neglect  of  it."  Sir  Michael  Hicks-Beach,  the 
successor  of  Lord  Carnarvon  as  Colonial  Secre- 
tary, took  a  very  tolerant  view  of  Captain 
Douglas's  lapse.  He  approved  the  action  of 
the  Governor,  as  he  was  bound  to  do,  having 
regard  to  the  instructions  issued  from  Downing 
Street  by  his  predecessor,  but  he  spoke  of 
Captain  Douglas's  action  as  an  "  error  of  judg- 
ment," and  indulgently  remarked  that  he  fully 
recognised  the  delicacy  of  the  task  imposed 
on  the  Residents,  and  was  aware  that  much 
must  be  left  to  their  discretion  on  occasions 
when  prompt  and  firm  action  was  called  for. 
Sir  Michael  Hicks-Beach's  broad  way  of  look- 
ing at  this  episode,  we  may  assume,  was  not 
without  its  effect  upon  the  Government  at 
Singapore  and  the  Residential  officials.  It 
was,  at  all  events,  in  the  spirit  of  his  despatch 
rather  than  in  consonance  with  the  letter  of  the 
"  Instructions  to  Residents  "  that  the  administra- 
tion of  the  Malay  States  proceeded  during  the 
next  few  years.  It  was  well  that  it  was.  so,  for 
a  lack  of  courage  at  the  outset — indecision  on 
vital  matters  of  principle — would  have  militated 
E  *  ■'■ 



seriously  against  the  success  of  the  work  in 
hand.  Indeed,  it  may  be  questioned  whethei- 
the  magnificent  result  which  we  see  to-day 
would  have  been  possible  if  British  officials  of 
those  early  days,  when  everything  was  in  the 
melting-pot,  had  stood  idly  by  while  the  native 
chiefs  were  manipulating  the  alloys  after  their 
own  fashion.  The  Residents,  who  were  all 
officials  selected  for  their  special  knowledge 
of  Malays,  were  not  the  type  of  men  to  accept 
a  role  of  this  sort.  They  knew  that  British 
administrative  capacity  and  even  the  national 
prestige  was  at  stake  ;  they  knew  further  that 
here  vi^as  a  splendid  heritage  for  the  Empire  to 
be  had  only  for  the  asking  ;  so,  nothing  fearing, 
they  kept  steadily  on  their  course.  They  were 
not  "  rulers,"  but  they  were  pre-eminently  the 
power  behind  the  throne.  The  ship  of  State 
was  directed  whither  they  wished  it  to  go,  and 
they  wished  it  go  along  the  path -of  good 
government,  which  was  also  the  high-road 
to  commercial  prosperity. 

One  of  the  earliest  developments  of  the  re- 
constituted Residential  system  was  the  estab- 
lishment of  advisory  Councils  of  State.  This 
was  a  very  astute  move,  for  it  did  more  to 
secure  the  support  of  influential  Malays  and 
reconcile  them  to  the  new  regime  than  any 
other  step  taken  in  these  early  days.  The 
Councils,  on  which  there  was  a  mixed  repre- 
sentation of  chiefs,  local  officials,  and  leading 
men,  transacted  the  ordinary  business  of  an 
executive  council.  They  discussed  and  passed 
legislative  enactments,  considered  revenue  ques- 
tions, and  the  civil  and  pension  lists,  and  con- 
ferred with  the  Resident  on  important  matters 
affecting  the  welfare  of  the  State.  The  first  of 
these  Councils  was  established  in  Perak,  and 
was  an  immediate  success  owing  to  the  intelli- 
gent co-operation  of  the  Malay  chiefs  and  the 
general  goodwill  of  the  leaders  of  the  foreign 
native  community.  Selangor  later  was  en- 
dowed with  a  Council,  and  the  other  States, 
after  further  intervals,  followed  on  the  same 
path.  "The  institution,"  Sir  Frank  Swettenham 
says,  "  served  its  purpose  admirably.  The 
Malay  members  from  the  first  took  an  intelli- 
gent interest  in  the  proceedings,  which  were 
always  conducted  in  Malay,  and  a  seat  on  the 
Council  is  much  coveted  and  highly  prized.  A 
tactful  Resident  could  always  carry  the  majority 
with  him,  and  nothing  was  so  useful  or  effective 
in  cases  of  difficulty  as  for  those  who  would 
have  been  obstructive  to  find  that  their  opinions 
were  not  shared  by  others  of  their  own  class 
and  nationality." 

Perak,  as  the  chief  seat  of  the  troubles  which 
led  to  British  intervention,  was  watched  anxi- 
ously by  the  authorities  in  the  period  following 
the  cessation  of  hostilities.  Happily  in  Mr.  (after- 
wards Sir)  Hugh  Low  the  State  had  an  adviser 
of  exceptional  ability  and  strength  of  character. 
His  previous  service  had  been  in  Borneo, 
but  he  thoroughly  understood  the  Oriental 
character  and  quicklj'  adapted  himself  to  the 
special  characteristics  of  the  Malay.  His  was 
the  iron  hand  beneath  the  velvet  glove.  Firm 
and  yet  conciliatory,  he  directed  the  ship  of 
State  with  unerring  skill  through  the  shoals 
and  quicksands  which  beset  its  course  in  those 
early  days  when  the  population,  or  an  influ- 
ential part  of  it,  was  smarting  under  the  sense 
of  defeat.     Perhaps  his  tactfulness  was  in  no 

direction  more  strikingly  shown  than  in  his 
treatment  of  the  delicate  question  of  debt 
slavery.  It  was  obvious  from  the  first  that  the 
system  was  incompatible  with  British  notions 
of  sound  and  just  administration.  But  to  in- 
augurate a  change  was  no  easy  task.  The 
practice  was,  as  we  have  said,  a  cherished 
Malay  custom,  and  cut  deeply  into  the  home 
life  of  the  people.  Moreover,  abolition  meant 
money,  and  the  State  at  that  time  was  not 
too  well  endowed  with  funds.  The  masterful 
Resident,  however,  was  not  to  be  deterred  by 
these  considerations  from  taking  up  the  ques- 
tion. He  worked  quietly  to  secure  the  good- 
will of  the  chiefs,  and  having  done  this,  formu- 
lated a  scheme  by  which  the  State  should 
purchase  the  freedom  of  all  bond  slaves,  paying 
to  their  masters  a  maximum  sum  of  30  dollars 
for  a  male  and  60  dollars  for  a  female  slave. 
The  proposals  were  duly  laid  before  the  Perak 
Council,    and     after    discussion    unanimously 

SIB    HUGH    LOW. 

adopted,  December  31,  1883,  being  fi.xed  as 
the  final  date  for  the  continuance  of  the  state 
of  slavery.  The  emancipation  measures  were 
attended  by  some  interesting  results.  Very 
few  freedmen  consented  to  leave  their  masters 
or  mistresses,  while  the  latter  on  their  part 
almost  universally  said  that  they  set  the  slaves 
free  '•  for  the  glory  of  God,"  and  refused  to  take 
the  State's  money.  "  How  can  we  take  money 
for  our  friends  who  have  so  long  lived  with  us, 
many  of  them  born  in  our  houses  ?  W'e  can 
sell  cattle,  fruit  or  rice,  but  not  take  money  for 
our  friends."  "Such  e.xpressions,"  Sir  Frederick 
Weld  wrote  in  a  despatch  dated  May  3,  18S3, 
"have  been  used  in  very  many  cases  in 
different  parts  of  Perak.  Many  slave  children 
whose  own  mothers  are  dead  always  call  their 
mistresses  'mother,'  and  the  attachment  is 
reciprocal.  In  fine,  this  investigation  has 
brought  into  notice  many  of  the  fine  qualities 
of  a  most  interesting  and  much  maligned  race. 

and  affords  conclusive  proof  that  the  abuses 
which  are  sure  to  co-exist  with  slavery  could 
not  have  been  general,  and  bore  no  comparison 
with  those  formerly  often  accompanying  negro 
slavery  in  our  own  colonies." 

A  rather  unpleasant  incident,  which  threatened 
at  one  time  to  have  very  serious  consequences, 
arose  out  of  the  edict  for  the  manumission  of 
slaves.  Soon  after  the  arrangements  had  been 
put  in  force  the  inhabitants  of  the  sub-district 
of  Lomboh,  on  the  Perak  river,  a  centre  in 
close  proximity  to  the  scene  of  Mr.  Birch's 
murder,  declined  to  pay  taxes,  giving  as  one  of 
their  reasons  the  abolition  of  slavery.  They 
refused  to  meet  the  Resident  excepting  by 
proceeding  as  an  armed  bod5'  to  Kuala  Kangsa, 
and  declared  that  if  they  were  defeated  they 
would  disperse  in  small  bands  and  harry  the 

Everything  was  done  by  the  British  officials 
and  the  Malay  chiefs  to  bring  the  malcontents 
to  reason,  but  they  stubbornly  refused  to  listen, 
and  when  approached,  beat  the  mosque  drum 
as  a  call  to  the  inhabitants  to  arms.  In  the 
circumstances  Mr.  Low,  the  Resident,  had  no 
alternative  but  to  make  a  display  of  force,  for, 
as  Sir  Frederick  Weld,  the  Governor,  remarked 
in  his  despatch  to  the  Secretary  of  State  on  the 
subject,  "  to  have  yielded  to  threats  would  have 
destroyed  all  the  good  work  we  have  done  in 
civilising  and  pacifying  the  country."  He  there- 
fore ordered  a  force  of  100  armed  police  and 
two  guns  to  proceed  down  the  river  from 
Kuala  Kangsa,  and  himself  proceeded  up  the 
river  from  Teluk  Anson  with  40  men.  The 
Lamboh  people,  seeing  the  Resident's  deter- 
mined attitude  and  impressed  by  the  proximity 
of  his  highly  disciplined  and  effective  force, 
made  a  complete  submission.  They  now 
willingly  paid  their  tax,  and,  expressing  deep 
contrition,  promised  most  humbly  never  to 
repeat  the  offence,  but  to  petition  in  a  quiet 
way  if  they  had  a  grievance.  Accepting  their 
plea  that  they  were  "  poor  ignorant  jungle 
people,"  Mr.  Low  withdrew  his  warrant  for 
the  arrest  of  the  ringleaders,  and  so  terminated 
happily  an  episode  which  might  with  less 
skilful  handling  have  set  the  whole  peninsula 
aflame  once  more. 

In  1884,  on  Sir  Hugh  Low's  retirement  from 
the  Residency  of  Perak,  Sir  Cecil  Smith,  the 
officer  administering  the  government  of  the 
Straits  Settlements,  reviewed  the  work  done  in 
the  State  since  the  introduction  of  British 
supervision.  In  1876  the  revenue  of  Perak 
amounted  to  2 1.3,419  dollars,  and  the  expendi- 
ture to  226,379  dollars.  In  1883  the  revenue 
had  reached  a  total  of  i, 474,330  dollars,  while 
the  expenditure  had  grown  to  1,350,610  dollars. 
During  the  period  of  Sir  Hugh  Low's  adminis- 
tration debts  to. the  amount  of  800,000  dollars 
incurred  in  connection  with  the  disturbances 
had  been  paid  off,  and  the  State  was  at  the 
period  of  the  review  entirely  free  from  such 
liabilities.  There  was  a  cash  balance  at  the 
close  of  the  year  of  254,949  dollars.  As  to 
trade,  the  value  of  the  imports  was  calculated 
in  1876  at  831,375  dollars,  and  the  exports  at 
739,970  dollars.  Similar  returns  for  1883  showed 
the  imports  to  have  been  valued  at  4,895,940 
dollars,  and  the  exports  5,625,335  dollars.  Put 
in  sterling,  the  aggregate  value  of  the  trade 
was  ;^r2, 000,000. 



Sir  Hugh  Low  in  his  farewell  report  himself 
summarises  the  results  of  his  administration 
in  these  graphic  sentences  :  "  When  I  first 
entered  upon  the  duties  of  the  position  of 
adviser  to  the  State  there  was  only  one  steamer 
trading  between  Pinang  and  Larut,  which  was 
subsidised  by  the  Government  and  made  the 
voyage  once  in  five  or  six  days.  There  are  now 
twelve  steamers  trading  between  Pinang  and 
Perak,  two  or  three  of  which  arrive  at  and 
depart  from  Larut  daily;,  there  are  others 
plying  to  and  fro  between  Pinang  and  Singa- 
pore, calling  at  the  intervening  ports,  so  that, 
as  is  also  shown  by  the  returns,  the  trade  has 
undergone  a  large  development.  The  country 
has  been  opened  up  by  excellent  roads  in  the 
most  important  positions,  and  by  a  very  exten- 
sive system  of  bridle  paths  in  places  of  less 
consequence.  Progress  has  been  made  in 
rendering  rivers  more  navigable.  A  military 
police,  consisting  of  infantry,  artillery,  and 
cavalry,  second  to  none  in  the  East,  has  been 

which  has  a  most  abundant  supply  of  excellent 
water  conveyed  to  it  in  three  miles  of  8-inch 
pipes,  is  lighted  with  kerosene  lamps,  and  in 
process  of  being  connected  with  a  new  port  bj' 
a  metre-gauge  railway  eight  miles  in  length. 
Very  excellent  barracks,  large  hospitals,  courts 
of  justice,  commodious  residences  for  all  ofticers 
except  the  Resident,  and  numerous  police 
stations  and  public  buildings  have  been  erected 
at  the  chief  stations  ;  a  museum  with  a  scientific 
staff  and  experimental  gardens  and  farms 
established  ;  the  nati\'c  foreign  Eastern  popu- 
lation conciliated  ;  ancient  animosities  healed 
up,  and  all  causes  of  disquietude  removed.  As 
compared  with  1876,  when3i2,872  dollarswere 
collected,  the  revenues  of  the  State  are  now 
more  than  quadrupled,  and  the  Treasury, 
rescued  from  insolvency,  now  contains  a  large 
balance  available  for  further  development  of 
the  resources  of  the  Stale." 

Sir   Frederick  Weld,  who  was  Governor  of 
the  Straits  Settlements  from  1879  to  1887,  took 

made.  It  was  his  practice  during  his  term  of 
office  to  be  continually  on  the  move  through 
the  States,  seeing  for  himself  the  needs  of  the 
territory  and  keeping  constantly  in  touch  with 

SIR     HUGH     LOW     AND     THE     SULTAN     OF     PERAK. 
(From  a  photograph  taken  during  Sir  Hugh  Low's  term  of  office  as  Resident  of  Perak.) 

recruited,  disciplined,  and  most  fully  equipped, 
and  also  supplies  a  most  efficient  fire  brigade 
for  the  town  of  Taiping.  Two  considerable 
and  prosperous  towns  have  been  built,  one  of 

a  deep  interest  in  the  development  of  the 
Malay  States,  and  to  his  energetic  initiative 
and  persistent  advocacy  was  due  in  large 
measure    the    steady    uninterrupted    progress 

SIR    FREDK.    A    WELD,    K.C.M.G. 

local  opinion.  He  not  only  informed  himself, 
but  he  took  good  care  to  keep  the  authorities 
at  home  thoroughly  posted  on  all  matters  of 
importance.  Bright  little  descriptions  of  his 
journeyings  were  sent  to  the  Colonial  Office,  and 
the  staid  officials  there,  amid  details  of  official 
receptions,  read  gossipy  accounts  of  camp  in- 
cidents or  adventures  with  wild  beasts.  .\  few 
excerpts  from  these  despatches  may  be  appro- 
priately introduced,  as  they  give  a  sketch  of  the 
early  administration  of  the  States  which  is 
both  lively  and  informing.  Writing  of  a  tour 
made  in  March,  1883,  Sir  Frederick  Weld 
furnishes  an  interesting  description  of  Kuala 
Lumpor.  "  The  improvement  in  the  town," 
he  says,  "  was  marked.  The  main  road  has 
been  improved  ;  neat,  inexpensive  police 
stations  and  good  bridges  have  replaced  de- 
cayed old  ones,  whilst  several  new  buildings 
are  in  progress."  A  visit  paid  subsequently  to 
Larut  and  Lower  Perak  was  productive  of  an 
equally  favourable  impression.  "  At  Teluk 
.inson,  the  headquarters  of  the  last  named 
district,  I  found  great  changes  in  progress. 
Many  good  buildings  have  been  erected  and 
the  streets  are  well  laid  out.  The  canal,  which 
saves  eight  miles  of  river  navigation,  is  likely 
to  be  a  success,  and  is  nearly  finished.  The 
hospital  is  commodious  and  in  good  order." 

Later  in  the  year  Sir  Frederick  Weld  was 
again  in  Selangor,  and  he  makes  these  refer- 
ences to  his  visit  :  "  At  Kanching,  about  15 
miles  north  of  Kuala  Lumpor,  we  passed 
through  and  by  a  considerable  forest  of 
camphor  trees,  many  of  them  200  feet  high. 
This  tract  occupied  by  camphor  trees  is  the 
largest  of  the  kind  known  in  the  peninsula, 
and  the  only  one  on  the  western  side  of  the 
range.  The  Malays  fear  to  cut  the  trees,  as 
they  say  the  smell  gives  them  fever.  Mr. 
Gower,  who  is  putting  up  tin-mining  machinery 
in  the  neighbourhood,  got  seven  Japanese  to 
attempt  cutting  a  tree,  and  they  all  actually  did 
get  fever.  This  is  very  remarkable,  as  camphor 
is  usually  considered  to  be  a  febrifuge.  This 
forest  must  become  of  enormous  value,  and  I 



have  directed  that  it  be  reserved  to  the  State 
and  preserved. 

"  In  the  inhabited  districts  all  the  villages 
were  decorated,  always  tastefully  and  some- 
times very  beautifully.  I  was  welcomed  with 
dancing  and  singing ;  they  emulated  their 
ancient  legends  of  the  programme  of  the  pass- 
age of  certain  great  Rajas  in  ancient  times,  and 
there  is  little  doubt  but  that  I  had  at  least  the 
advantage  in  the  heartiness  of  the  welcome. 
Even  the  wild  Sakais  and  Semangs,  the 
aborigines,  came  down  from  the  mountains, 
bringing  with  them  their  women  and  children 
to  meet  me.  They  one  and  all  assured  me 
that  under  our  rule  the  Malays  have  ceased  to 
molest  them,  and  one  said  that  if  they  did 
he  should  go  straight  off  to  find  a  European 
magistrate  and  the  police.  They  themselves 
are  a  most  harmless,  kindly,  and  good-tempered 


Continued  Progress — Federation — Magni- 
ficent Results  of  British  Interven- 
tion— Conclusion. 

What  Sir  Hugh  Low  accomplished  in  Perak 
was  done  in  a  minor  degree  in  the  other  States. 
In  the  Nine  States  progress  was  for  a  time 
retarded  by  the  mutual  jealousies  of  the  chiefs 
and  the  slumbering  resentment  of  the  popula- 
tion, who  did  not  take  too  kindly  to  some  of 
the  changes  wrought  by  British  supervision. 
Owing  largely  to  these  causes  the  inevitable 
federation  of  the  group  of  States  was  delayed. 
In  1876  six  of  the  nine  States  united,  agreeing 
to  work  together  under  the  headship  of  Tunku 
Antar,  who  was  given  the  title  of  Yam  Tuan  of 
Sri  Menanti.  The  dissenting  States,  Sungei 
Ujong,  Rembau,  and  Jelebu,  after  a  few  years' 
independent  life,  thought  better  of  their 
refusal,  and  entered  the  federation,  the  formal 
act  being  registered  in  an  agreement  under 
which  they  acknowledged  Tunku  Muhammad, 
C.M.G.,  the  successor  of  Tunku  Antar,  as  their 
Raja,  with  the  title  of  Yang-di-Pertuan  of  Negri 
Sambilan.  In  Selangor,  first  under  Mr.  David- 
son and  later  under  Mr.  Swettenham,  rapid 
progress  was  made  when  once  the  country  had 
settled  down.  The  revenue  grew  from  193,476 
dollars  in  1876  to  300,423  dollars  in  1882.  The 
next  year  there  was  a  further  advance  to 
450,644  dollars.  After  the  lapse  of  another  five 
years  the  receipts  had  grown  to  the  large 
figure  of  1,417,998  dollars.  Thus  in  twelve 
years  the  revenue  of  the  State  had  increased 
sevenfold.  The  expenditure  kept  pace  with 
the  receipts,  because  at  the  outset  there  were 
heavy  liabilities  to  be  liquidated,  and  through- 
out the  period  there  were  demands  ever  grow- 
ing for  public  works  absolutely  essential  for 
the  development  of  the  territory.  The  general 
situation  of  the  States  in  these  early  years  is 
illustrated  by  these  figures  showing  the  total 
receipts  and  expenditure  of  Perak,  Selangor, 
and  Sungei  Ujong  at  particular  periods  from 
1876  to  1888  : 

Year.  Revenue.  Expenditure. 

1876  8560,997  »585,i89 

1880  881,910  794,944 

1884  2,148,155  2,138,710 

1888  3,657.673  3,013,943 

The  revenue  system  adopted  in  the  States 
under  British  supervision  differed  materially 
from  that  of  the  British  settlements.  Its  lead- 
ing features  at  the  outset  were  an  import  duty 
on  opium,  spirits,  and  tobacco,  a  farm  of  the 
sole  right  to  open  gambling  houses,  various 
licence  fees,  quit  rents,  &c.,  an  export  duty  of 
10  per  cent,  ad  valorem  on  all  jungle  produce 
and  salt  fish,  and  an  export  duty  on  tin.  The 
last-named  import  was  the  backbone  of  the 
system.  To  it  is  mainly  due  the  remarkable 
development  of  the  States.  Without  the  steady 
and  increasing  flow  to  the  exchequer  of  the  tin 
receipts,  the  magnificent  public  works  which 
are  the  most  conspicuous  feature  of  the  fede- 
rated area  would  have  been  luxuries  beyond 
the  attainment  of  the  administration.  Refer- 
ences to  these  works  are  made  elsewhere  in 
this  volume,  and  it  is  only  necessary  to  touch 
lightly  upon  the  subject  here.  The  earliest 
works  undertaken  were  almost  exclusively  con- 
cerned with  the  improvement  of  communica- 
tions. As  was  stated  at  the  beginning  of  this 
hibtorical  sketch,  when  the  British  first  inte- 
rested themselves  in  the  concerns  of  the  Malay 
States  they  found  a  practically  roadless 
country.  About  the  mines  in  Larut  a  few 
miles  of  ill-kept  track,  dignified  by  the  name  of 
road,  served  for  purposes  of  transporting  the 
tin  to  the  coast,  but  this  was  an  isolated 
example  of  enterprise.  Communications,  such 
as  they  were,  were  carried  on  for  the  most 
part  by  the  numerous  rivers  and  waterways  in 
which  the  coast  abounds.  The  British  Resi- 
dents quickly  realised  that  if  the  States  were 
to  prosper  there  must  be  a  good  system  of 
internal  and  ultimately  of  inter-State  communi- 
cation established.  The  efforts  were  directed 
to  two  ends — the  improvement  of  the  water- 
ways by  the  clearing  of  channels,  and  the 
construction  of  roads.  The  former  was  a  com- 
paratively easy  task,  as  in  many  cases  all  that 
was  required  was  the  expenditure  of  moderate 
sums  on  labour  with  the  object  of  removing 
vegetation,  which  had  accumulated  to  such  an 
extent  as  to  render  the  streams  useless  for 
navigation.  The  roads,  on  the  other  hand,  had 
to  be  driven  for  the  most  part  through  virgin 
forest  land,  and  the  work  was  a  troublesome 
and  costly  business.  The  Resident  of  Selangor 
in  1882-83,  in  order  to  meet  the  demand  for 
increased  means  of  communication  without 
putting  too  heavy  a  strain  upon  the  public 
resources,  hit  upon  the  expedient  of  making 
the  initial  roadway  a  bridle-path  6  feet  wide 
without  metalling  and  with  very  simple  and 
cheap  bridges.  Traffic  arteries  of  this  type 
were  constructed  at  the  low  cost  of  ;^i5o  a 
mile,  and  they  served  all  reasonable  needs 
until  the  period  when  the  growth  of  the  State 
revenue  justified  the  heavier  expenditure  in- 
volved in  the  provision  of  a  macadamised  road 
with  permanent  bridges.  This  plan  was  finally 
adopted  in  all  the  States  with  markedly 
successful  results.  The  bridle-paths  attracted 
settlers  to  the  districts  through  which  they 
passed,  and  soon  a  thriving  population  was  to 
be  found  in  districts  which  previously  had 
been  an  uninhabited  waste.  When  the  popula- 
tion was  large  enough  to  justify  the  expendi- 
ture, and  fvmds  permitted,  the  permanent  road 
was  provided.  In  this  way,  bit  by  bit,  was 
created  a  network  of  splendid  roads,  the  like 

of  which  is  not  to  be  found  anywhere  in  Asia, 
excepting  perhaps  in  India.  Side  by  side  with 
road  construction  the  Government  prosecuted 
measures  for  the  settlement  of  the  country. 
"  Efforts,"  says  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  in  his 
work,  "  were  made  to  encourage  the  building 
of  villages  all  over  the  country,  and  round  the 
headquarters  of  every  district  settlers  congre- 
gated, small  towns  were  laid  out,  shops  and 
markets  were  built,  and  everything  was  done 
to  induce  the  people  to  believe  in  the  perman- 
ence of  the  new  institutions.  The  visitor  who 
now  travels  by  train  through  a  succession  of 
populous  towns,  or  who  lands  at  or  leaves  busy 
ports  on  the  coast,  can  hardly  realise  the 
infinite  trouble  taken  in  the  first  fifteen  years 
to  coax  Malays  and  Chinese  and  Indians  to 
settle  in  the  country,  to  build  a  better  class  of 
house  than  the  flimsy  shanties  or  adobe  struc- 
ture hitherto  regarded  as  the  height  of  all 
reasonable  ambition.  As  the  villages  grew  and 
the  roads  joined  up  the  various  mining  fields 
and  scattered  hamlets,  village  councils,  styled 
Sanitary  Boards,  were  instituted  to  regulate  the 
markets,  sanitation,  slaughter  houses,  laundries, 
water  supply,  and  the  hundred  and  one 
improvements  of  rapidly  growing  centres  of 
population.  Every  nationality  is  represented 
on  these  boards,  and  the  members  take  an 
intelligent  interest  in  municipal  administration." 

The  construction  of  railways  was  an  inevitable 
accompaniment  of  the  commercial  development 
of  the  States.  The  pioneer  scheme  was  a  line 
eight  miles  long  between  Taiping,  the  chief 
mining  town  in  Larut,  and  Port  Weld,  on  a 
deep-water  inlet  of  the  Larut  river.  Another 
and  more  ambitious  scheme  undertaken  some 
little  time  before  the  line  was  opened  for  traffic 
in  1884  was  a  railway  between  Kuala  Lumpor 
and  Klang  in  Selangor,  a  distance  of  22  miles. 
Funds  for  this  work  were  lent  by  the  Straits 
Settlements  Government,  but  the  loan  was  re- 
called long  before  the  work  was  completed,  and 
the  State  authorities  had  to  get  on  as  best  they 
could  without  external  aid.  Fortunately  the 
revenue  at  the  time  was  in  a  highly  satisfactory 
condition,  and  no  great  difficulty  was  experi- 
enced in  financing  the  venture  out  of  current 
income.  The  line  was  an  immediate  success. 
In  the  first  few  months  of  working  it  achieved 
the  remarkable  result  of  earning  a  revenue 
which  yielded  a  profit  equal  to  25  per  cent,  on 
the  amount  expended.  From  these  compara- 
tively small  beginnings  grew  the  great  railway 
system  which  already  has  linked  up  the  western 
districts  of  the  peninsula,  and  which  is  destined 
probably  in  the  not  remote  future  to  be  the 
important  final  section  of  a  great  continental 
system  of  railways. 

On  the  purely  administrative  side  the  work 
of  supervision  was  not  less  effective  than  in  the 
practical  directions  we  have  indicated.  A 
judicial  system  was  built  up  on  lines  suited 
to  the  needs  of  the  population,  educational 
machinery  was  started  with  special  provision 
for  the  principal  racial  sections  of  which  the 
inhabitants  were  composed,  a  land  settlement 
system  was  devised,  hospitals  and  dispensaries 
were  started,  and  a  magnificent  police  force — 
partly  Indian,  partly  Malay — was  created.  In 
fine,  the  States  were  gradually  equipped  with 
all  the  essential  institutions  of  a  progressive 
comraunitj'.    The  story  of  liow  these  various 



departments  of  the  Federated  Malay  States 
Government  grew  may  be  left  to  be  told  by 
other  writers.  It  is  sufficient  here  to  say  that, 
with  trivial  exceptions,  the  work  has  been 
marked  by  a  measure  of  successful  achieve- 
ment which  is  worthy  of  the  most  brilliant 
examples  of  British  administration. 

In  1888  the  British  responsibiHties  in  the 
peninsula  were  increased  by  the  addition  of 
Pahang  to  the  list  of  protected  States.  This 
State  stood  suspiciously  apart  when  the  other 
States  were  brought  into  the  sphere  of  British 
influence,  and  it  resolutely  repelled  all  over- 

authorities  at  Singapore,  who  saw  in  it  only 
another  indication  of  the  perverse  indepen- 
dence of  the  chief.  They  had,  liowever,  only 
to  wait  for  an  opportunity  for  intervention.  It 
came  one  day  when  a  more  than  usually  brutal 
outrage  was  perpetrated  upon  a  British  subject 
with  the  connivance  of  the  ruler.  Satisfaction 
was  demanded  by  Sir  Clementi  Smith,  the  then 
Governor  of  the  Straits,  and  was  refused.  The 
position  was  becoming  critical  when  the  chief, 
acting  mainly  on  the  advice  of  the  Maharaja  of 
Johore,  expressed  regret  for  what  had  occurred 
and   asked  for  the  appointment  of  a   British 

the  adjoining  Stales,  there  to  be  either  killed  or 
captured  by  the  Siamese.  Pahang  has  never 
had  reason  to  regret  the  decision  taken  by  its 
chief  to  join  the  circle  of  protected  States.  In 
the  seventeeji  years  ending  1906  which  followed 
the  introduction  of  the  Residential  system,  its 
revenue  increased  tenfold  and  its  trade  expanded 
from  an  insigniiicant  total  to  one  approximating 
five  million  dollars  in  value. 

The  remarlcable  progress  made  by  the  pro- 
tected States  and  the  consequent  widening  of 
the  administrative  sphere  brought  into  promi- 
nence the  necessity  of  federation  in  order  to 


The  figure  in  the  centre  is  Sir  F.  Weld ;  seated  on  his  left  are  Sir  Hugh  Low  and  the  Sultan  of  Perak. 

tures.  On  one  occasion  the  Straits  Government 
had  to  bring  the  chief  to  reason  by  a  bombard- 
ment of  his  capital.  After  that  there  was  little 
or  no  intercourse,  until  one  day  a  British  war 
vessel  dropped  into  harbour  to  see  what  was 
doing  in  that  part  of  the  world.  The  captain 
landed  to  pay  his  respects,  and  on  being  ushered 
into  the  presence  of  the  chief,  found  him  seated 
on  a  pile  of  cannon  balls  which  had  been  fired 
from  the  British  warships  on  the  occasion  of 
the  bombardment.  The  humour  of  the  situa- 
tion appealed  to  the  British  representative,  but 
the  incident  was  not  so  much  relished  by  the 

Resident.  The  amende  was  accepted,  and  Mr. 
(now  Sir)  J.  P.  Rodger  was  appointed  Resident, 
with  ;Mr.  Hugh  Clifford  as  Assistant.  The  new 
order  was  not  accepted  peacefully  by  an  im- 
portant section,  represented  by  a  group  of  petty 
chiefs.  These  resented  the  British  intrusion 
and  all  that  it  implied  in  ordered  administration 
and  restraints  on  oppression,  and  they  took  up 
arms.  A  long  and  expensive  campaign  was 
involved  in  the  suppression  of  this  rising  ;  but 
eventually,  thanks  largely  to  Mr.  Hugh  Clifford's 
exertions,  the  revolting  element  was  ■  either 
hunted  down  or  driven  across  the  border  into 

deal  more  effectually  with  questions  of  common 
interest  which  were  continually  arising.  In 
1893  Sir  Frank  Swettenham,  who  since  the 
conclusion  of  the  military  operations  in  Perak 
had  filled  the  post  of  Secretary  for  Malay  Affairs 
to  the  Straits  Settlement  Government,  drew  up 
a  scheme  for  the  federation  of  the  four  States, 
and  this  in  due  course  was  forwarded  to  the 
Colonial  Secretary.  \Mien  Sir  Charles  Mitchell 
was  appointed  to  the  government  of  the  Straits 
Settlements  in  succession  to  Sir  Clementi  Smith, 
in  i8g6,  he  carried  with  him  instructions  to 
report  upon  the  desirability  and  feasibility  of 



the  project.  Sir  Charles  Mitchell,  after  mature 
consideration  of  the  question,  forwarded  a  re- 
commendation in  favour  of  the  scheme,  subject, 
however,  to  its  receiving  the  approval  of  the 
ruling  chiefs.  Mr.  Chamberlain  in  his  turn 
gave  conditional  sanction  to  the  federation  idea 


on  these  lines,  and  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  was 
entrusted  with  the  duty  of  securing  the  adhesion 
of  the  Residents  and  chiefs  to  his  plans.  His 
mission  was  entirely  successful.  The  Resi- 
dents welcomed  the  scheme,  though  it  made  a 
striking  change  in  the  system  of  government 
by  putting  over  them  a  Resident-General,  who 
was  given  executive  control  under  the  direction 
of  "the  High  Comm'ssioner  for  the  Federated 
Malay  States,"  otherwise  the  Governor  of  the 
Straits  Settlements.  The  chiefs  also  gave  the 
project  their  cordial  approval.  They  were  in- 
fluenced in  its  favour.  Sir  Frank  Swettenham 
says,  because  it  did  not  touch  their  own  status 
in  any  way,  and  because  they  believed  that  as 
a  federation  they  would  be  stronger  and  more 
important,  and  that  their  views  would  be 
more  likely  to  receive  consideration  should  a 
day  come  when  they  found  themselves  at 
variance  with  the  supreme  authority,  be  it 
High  Commissioner  at  Singapore  or  Secretary 
of  State  in  England.  A  further  consideration 
was  the  financial  advantage  which  would 
accrue  from  the  change.  "  Two  of  the  States, 
Perak  and  Selangor,  were  then  very  rich ; 
Negri  Sambilan  had  a  small  debt,  but  was 
financially  sound  ;  while  Pahang  was  very 
poor,  owed  a  large  sum  to  the  colony,  and, 
though  believed  to  be  rich  in  minerals,  had  no 
resources  to  develop  the  country.  By  federa- 
tion the  rich  States  were  to  help  the  poor  ones  ; 
so  Pahang  and  Negri  Sambilan  hoped  to  gain 
by  the  arrangement,  while  the  rulers  of  Perak 
and  Selangor  were  large-minded  enough  to 
welcome  the  opportunity  of  pushing  on  the 
backward  Stales  for  the  glory  and  ultimate 
benefit  of  the  federation.  Further,  they  wel- 
comed federation  because  it  meant  consistency 
and  continuity  of  policy.  It  meant  the  abolition 
of  inter-State  frictions  and  jealousies,  and  the 

power  to  conceive  and  execute  great  projects 
for  the  benefit  of  the  partnership  without  refer- 
ence to  the  special  interests  of  any  partner. 
Above  all,  they  not  only  accepted  but  desired 
federation,  because  they  believed  that  it  would 
give  them,  in  the  Resident-General,  a  powerful 
advocate  of  their  needs  and  their  views,  a  friend 
whose  voice  would  be  heard  further  and  carry 
more  weight  than  that  of  any  Resident,  or  of  all 
the  Residents  acting  independently." 

The  new  system  was  formally  introduced 
on  July  I,  i8g6,  with  Sir  Frank  Swettenham  as 
the  first  Resident-General.  Kuala  Lumpor 
was  selected  as  the  headquarters  of  the  federal 
departments,  and  here  gradually  grew  up  a 
series  of  fine  public  buildings  in  keeping  with 
the  importance  of  the  federated  area.  Now, 
with  an  important  trunk  railway  running 
through  it,  a  network  of  roads  radiating  from 
it  to  all  important  points,  and  a  considerable 
residential  population,  it  vies  in  dignity  and  size 
with  the  chief  towns  of  many  Crown  colonies. 
In  matters  of  government  the  fruits  of  the 
federation  were  quickly  seen  in  various  direc- 
tions. A  Judicial  Commissioner  (Mr.  Lawrence 
Jackson,  Q.C.)  was  appointed  to  try  capital 
charges  and  hear  appeals  from  the  magisterial 
courts.  Simultaneously  there  was  a  reorganisa- 
tion of  the  magisterial  system,  and  counsel  for 
the  first  time  were  admitted  to  plead  in  the 
Malay  State  Courts.  At  a  later  period  the 
judicial  bench  was  strengthened  by  the  addition 
of  two  Assistant  Commissioners,  and  a  Public 
Prosecutor  was  appointed  to  facilitate  criminal 
procedure.  Other  changes  were  the  appoint- 
ment of  a  Financial  Commissioner,  and  the 
reorganisation  of  the  whole  financial  system, 
the  amalgamation  of  the  police  forces  and 
the  Public  Works  Departments  of  the  several 
States,  and  the  institution  of  a  Railway  Depart- 
ment, with  a  General-Manager  as  head  of  the 
entire  system.  Further,  a  regiment  known  as 
the  Malay  States  Guides  was  constituted  for 
purposes  of  defence.  This  is  a  splendid 
force,  900  strong,  recruited  from  the  war- 
like Indian  races  and  officered  by  officers 
seconded  from  the  British  Army.  Finally,  an 
elaborate  trigonometrical  survey  has  been  set 
on  foot  on  a  uniform  system,  a  department  for 
the  conservation  of  forests  has  been  created, 
Geological  and  Agricultural  Departments  estab- 
lished, and  an  institute  for  medical  research 
under  the  direction  of  a  highly-trained  patho- 
logist provided. 

This  was  the  practical  outcome  of  federa- 
tion as  it  affected  the  administration.  In  less 
tangible  ways  it  has  worked  a  great  change  in 
the  States.  One  of  its  most  notable  influences 
has  been  the  tightening  of  the  bonds  of  sym- 
pathy between  the  various  parts  of  the  federated 
area  and  the  creation  of  a  sentiment  of  pride 
in  the  prosperity  and  greatness  of  the  common 
country.  This  phase  of  federation  was  brought 
out  very  strongly  in  July,  1897,  when  a  Con- 
ference of  Malay  rulers,  members  of  State 
Councils  and  chiefs  was  held  at  Kuala  Kangsa, 
the  seat  of  the  Sultan  of  Perak,  to  celebrate  the 
introduction  of  the  new  system.  Every  chief 
of  importance  was  present,  and  the  proceedings 
were  marked  by  absolute  harmony  and  even 
enthusiasm.  Sir  Frank  Swettenham,  in  his 
official  report,  summed  up  the  results  of  the  Con- 
ference in  the  following  interesting  fashion  ; 

"  From  every  point  of  view  the  meeting  has 
been  an  unqualified  success,  and  it  is  difficult  to 
estimate  now  the  present  and  prospective  value 
of  this  unprecedented  gathering  of  Malay 
Sultans,  Rajas,  and  chiefs.  Never  in  the  history 
of  Malaya  has  any  siich  assemblage  been 
even  imagined.  I  doubt  whether  anybody  has 
ever  heard  of  one  ruler  of  a  State  making  a 
ceremonial  visit  to  another  ;  but  to  have  been 
able  to  collect  together  in  one  place  the 
Sultans  of  Perak,  Selangor,  Pihang,  and  the 
Negri  Sambilan  is  a  feat  that  might  well  have 
been  regarded  as  impossible.  People  who  do 
not  understand  the  Malay  cannot  appreciate  the 
difficulties  of  such  a  task  ;  and  I  confess  that 
I  myself  never  believed  that  we  should  be  able 
to  accomplish  it.  It  was  hardly  to  be  expected 
that  a  man  of  the  great  age  of  the  Sultan  of 
Selangor  could  be  induced  to  make,  for  him,  so 
long  and  difficult  a  journey,  and  to  those  who 
know  the  pride,  the  prejudices,  and  the  sensi- 
tiveness of  Malay  Rajas,  it  was  very  unlikely 
that  the  Sultan  of  Pahang  would  join  an 
assemblage  where  he  could  not  himself  dictate 
the  exact  part  which  he  would  play  in  it.  It  is 
not  so  many  years  since  the  Governor  of  the 
Straits  Settlements  found  the  utmost  difficulty 
in  getting  speech  with  Malay  Rajas  in  the 
States  which  are  now  federated  ;  Sir  Frederick 
Weld,  even  though  accompanied  by  the  present 
Sultan  of  Perak,  by  Sir  Hugh  Low,  and  the 
present  Residents  of  Selangor  and  Pahang,  all 
officers  accustomed  to  deal  with  Malays,  had  to 
wait  several  hours  on  the  bank  of  the  Pahang 
river  before  any  one  could  persuade  the  Sultan 
of  Pahang  to  leave  a  game  of  chance  in  which 
he  was  engaged  with  a  Chinese  in  order  to 
grant  an  interview  to  his  Excellency.  It  is 
difficult  to  imagine  a  greater  difference  than 
between  then  and  now,  and,  though  the  Sultan 
of  Perak  has  been  far  more  nearly  associated 
with  British  officers  than  any  other  of  the 
Sultans,  he  has  always  been  extremely  jealous 
of  his  rights  as  a  ruler.     I  was,  therefore,  sur- 


prised  to  hear  the  frank  way  in  which,  at  the 
Council,  he  spoke  of  British  protection,  which 
he  did  not  hesitate  to  describe  as  control. 

"The  deliberations  of  the  Council  were  both 
interesting  and  useful,  and  there  is  no  doubt 
that,   in    some   respects,   we    could    not  have 



arrived  at  the  same  ends  by  any  otlier  means 
than  the  meeting  of  the  Rajas  of  the  Federated 
States  and  their  responsible  advisers.  All  the 
proceedings  of  the  Council  were  conducted  in 
the  Malay  language,  and  I  am  convinced  that,  if 
ever  it  were  necessary  to  introduce  interpreta- 
tion, no  such  successful  meetings  as  those  just 
concluded  could  ever  be  held.  The  Sultans 
and  all  their  chiefs  spoke  on  all  the  subjects 
which  interested  them,  without  either  hesita- 
tion or  difficulty,  and  on  matters  concerning  the 
Mahammadan  religion,  Malay  customs,  and 
questions  which  specially  touch  the  well-being 
of  Malays,  it  would  be  impossible  to  find  else- 
where such  knowledge  and  experience  as  is 
possessed  by  those  present  at  the  recent 
meetings.  Nothing  can  be  decided  at  the 
Council,  which  is  only  one  of  advice,  for  no 
Raja  has  any  voice  in  the  affairs  of  any  State 
but  his  own.  This  was  carefully  explained 
and  is  thoroughly  understood.     But  it  is  of 

and  depicting  the  gradual  change  in  the 
feelings  of  the  people,  an  attitude  of  distrust 
and  suspicion  of  British  officials  giving  place 
to  one  of  confidence  and  regard.  In  these 
Conferences  we  have  the  crowning  triumph 
and  vindication  of  British  intervention.  They 
may  be  regarded  as  the  coping-stone  of  the 
edifice  of  administrative  efficiency  and  pro- 
gress reared  on  the  blood-stained  ashes  of  the 
old  anarchical  regime  which  once  made  the 
name  Malaya  a  byword  for  ruthless  bar- 
barism and  the  cruellest  despotism. 

Figures  are  usually  dull  things,  but  only 
figures  can  properly  bring  home  to  the  under- 
standing the  immensity  of  the  change  which 
has  been  worked  in  the  peninsula  imder  British 
direction.  We  make  no  excuse,  therefore,  for 
introducing  the  following  official  table,  which 
illustrates  the  position  of  the  Federated  States 
from  the  year  i88g,  when  Pahang  came  under 
British  protection. 

perusal  of  the  table.  If  they  study  it  with  even 
a  moderate  disposition  to  be  fair,  they  will 
arise  from  the  exercise  with  minds  attuned  to 
a  new  view  of  the  capacity  of  their  fellow- 
countrymen  who  are  bearing  the  white  man's 
burden  in  distant  regions,  and  of  the  material 
advantages  which  accrue  from  the  wise  ex- 
tension of  British  influence.  And  the  glory  of 
the  success  is  that  it  has  been  won,  not  by  the 
sword,  but  by  peaceful  methods  directed  with 
the  aid  and  co-operation  of  the  most  influential 
elements  of  the  native  community.  The  power 
has  been  there,  but  it  has  been  sparingly  used. 
Moral  suasion  is  the  force  which  has  worked 
the  transformation  from  a  territory  weltering 
in  the  most  ferocious  form  of  internecine  war, 
with  trade  paralysed  and  agriculture  neglected, 
to  a  land  of  plenty,  with  mineral  and  agricul- 
tural wealth  developed  to  the  highest  extent, 
and  with  a  twenty-fold  larger  population  living 
a    contented  and    law-abiding  existence.      In 


Special  General  Return. 









Duty  on 


and  Tele- 

Negri  - 























































1. 573.441 




















537.1 1 1 
















































































1. 294.139 




















































—   1  1900 
















































1903 1 
































1905 1 

















Note. — Tlie  total  Revenue  and  the  total  Expenditure  of  Perak.  Selangor,  and  Negri  Samb'ilan  in  1875  were  respectively  $409,394  and  §436,872. 
appear  in  i88g.    Federation  dates  from  Julj'  i,  1896. 

Revenue.  Expenditure. 

Figures  for  Pahang  iirst 

»  Perak 
Negri  Sambilan 

$r4, 282.484 


2  487,090 




■f-  A  census  of  the  population  was  taken  in  1891  and  in  1901.    The  population  of  Perak  in  1879  was  estimated  at  8i,o8:|,  and  in  1889  at  194,801  ;  that  of  Selangor  in  1884 
at  46,568  and  in  1887  at  97,ic6.    No  figures  for  the  other  States  are  given  prior  to  1891. 
X  Estimated  for  1903,  1904,  and  1905. 

great  value  to  get  together  the  best  native 
opinions  and  to  hear  those  qualified  to  do  so 
thoroughly  discuss,  from  varying  points  of 
view,  questions  which  are  similar  in  all  the 
Federated  States.  On  several  important 
subjects  the  members  of  the  Council  expressed 
unanimous  views,  and  it  now  only  remains  to 
take  action  in  the  various  State  Councils  to 
secure  identical  measures  embodying  the 
opinions  expressed." 

There  was  a  second  Conference  on  similar 
lines  at  Kuala  Lumpor  in  July,  1903.  It  was 
equally  as  successful  as  the  initial  gathering. 
One  striking  feature  of  the  proceedings  was  a 
notable  speech  by  the  Sultan  of  Perak,  dwelling 
upon  the  enormous  advantages  which  had 
accrued  to  the  States  from  British  intervention. 

If  there  is  romance  in  statistics  it  is  surely  to 
be  found  in  this  wonderful  table.  Where  in 
the  history  of  modern  government  can  the 
progress  revealed  by  it  be  paralleled  ?  In 
India,  British  government  has  worked  mar- 
vellous changes  ;  in  Ceylon  a  splendid  suc- 
cess has  been  achieved  ;  even  in  the  Straits 
Settlements  themselves  we  have  an  example  of 
the  genius  of  the  race  for  the  government  of 
alien  communities.  But  we  may  ransack  the 
Imperial  records  in  vain  for  an  instance  in 
which  in  so  short  an  interval  a  great  possession 
has  been  built  up.  Those  pessimists  who 
bewail  the  national  degeneracy,  equally  with 
the  section  of  political  extremists  who  are  for 
ever  decrying  the  achievements  of  the  British 
Colonial    official,  may  be    commended    to    a 

this  fact  lies  the  highest  justification  of  the  ex- 
periment reluctantly  and  timidly  entered  upon 
less  than  forty  years  ago.  In  it  is  to  be 
found  the  most  splendid  testimony  to  the 
ability  of  the  British  administrators  who  have 
been  concerned  in  this  most  striking  example 
of  Empire-building. 


The  Peninsular  States. 

Perak. — The  history  of  Perak  inay  be  divided 
into  four  periods.  Of  the  first  period  (during 
which  the  seat  of  government  was  at  Bruas,  in 



the  Bindings)  we  know  next  to  notliing.  A 
few  carved  tombstones  represent  all  that  is  left 
uf  this  very  ancient  capital — and  even  these 
are  of  late  Achinese  make  and  throw  no  light 
whatever  on  the  early  history  of  the  country. 
It  Malay  tradition  is  right  in  saying  that  the 
great  arm  of  the  sea  at  the  Bindings  was  once 
an  outlet  of  the  Perak  river,  we  can  easily 
understand  the  importance  of  Bruas,  combining 
as  it  did  the  advantages  of  a  perfect  landlocked 
harbour  with  a  commanding  situation  at  the 
mouth  of  the  greatest  waterway  in  the  western 
half  of  the  peninsula.  Although  Bruas  was 
powerful — the  "  Malay  Annals  "  tell  us — before 
even  the  mythical  ancestors  of  the  Malacca 
dynasty  appeared  on  the  famous  hill  of  Sigun- 
tang,  it  had  begun  to  decline  as  the  river  silted 
up.  In  the  days  of  Sultan  Mahmud  (a.d.  1500) 
Bruas  had  so  far  fallen  that  its  King  did  homage 
to  Malacca  in  mere  gratitude  for  assistance 
against  a  petty  rival  village.  After  the  Achi- 
nese invasion  the  place  entirely  disappears 
from  history. 
The  second  period  of  Perak  history  stretches 

Kings,  down  to  the  extinction  of  his  direct 
male  line  in  the  wars  with  Achin.  This  period 
covers  a  century — from  1530  to  1630  A.D. — and 
is  marked  by  the  reigns  of  nine  Sultans  : 

younger  brother,  Alaedin  Riayat  Shah  II.  It 
goes  on  to  tell  us  that  this  disinherited  Prince, 
after  having  first  settled  in  Selangor,  was 
invited  to  fill  the  throne  of  Perak,  and  that  he 

MuDZAFAR  Shah  I. 
(First  Sultan) 

Mansur  Shah  I. 
(Second  Sultan) 

Mansur  Shah 
(Sultan  of  Achin) 

Tajuddin  Shah 
(Third  Sultan) 

Raja  Kechil 


Taj-ul-arifin  Shah 
(Fourth  Sultan) 

A  daughter 

Alaedin  Shah 
(Fifth  Sultan) 

Mansur  Shah  II. 
(Seventh  Sultan) 

A  daughter 
(m.  the  tenth  Sultan) 

Mukadam  Shah 
(Sixth  Sultan) 

Mahmud  Shah  I. 
(Eighth  Sultan) 

Selaheddin  Shah 
(Ninth  Sultan) 

Perak  tradition  identifies  its  first  Sultan,  Mud- 
zafar  Shah,  with  a  sou  of  Sultan  Mahmud  I. 
(of  Malacca),  who  was  born  about  a.d.  1505, 


from  the  coming  of   Mudzafar   Shah   I.,   the 
reputed   founder  of  the  long    line    of    Perak 

and  was   at   one  time  heir   to  the  throne   of 
Johore,  but  was  passed  over  in  favour  of  his 

reached  his  new  kingdom  after  various  adven- 
tures, such  as  the  slaughter  of  the  great  serpent, 
Si-Katimuna,  with  the  sword  Chura  Si- 
Mandong  Kini.  As  will  have  been  seen,  the 
Perak  tradition  does  not  hesitate  to  borrow 
from  the  legend  of  Sang  Sapurba.  Mudzafar 
Shah  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Mansur  Shah. 
After  the  death  of  this  latter  Prince,  his  widow 
and  children  were  taken  prisoners  by  Achi- 
nese invaders  and  carried  off  to  Kota  Raja, 
where  fortune  favoured  them  in  that  the  eldest 
son — another  Mansur  Shah — succeeded  in 
marrying  the  Queen  of  Achin. 

After  restoring  his  brothers  to  Perak,  this 
.Achinese  Mansur  Shah  perished  in  a  revolu- 
tion in  a.d.  1585.  Early  in  the  sixteenth 
century  the  great  Iskandar  Muda  or  Mahkota 
Alam,  Sultan  of  Achin,  subjugated  Perak  and 
led  ruler  after  ruler  to  captivity  and  death,  until 
the  direct  male  line  of  Mudzafar  Shah  had 
completely  died  out  and  Perak  had  become  a 
mere  province  of  his  empire.  About  the  year 
1635  Mahkota  Alam  died,  and  his  successor, 
Sultan  Mughal,  sent  a  certain  Raja  Sulong 
(who  had  married  a  Perak  Princess)  to 
govern  Perak  as  a  tributary  Prince  under 
the  name  of  Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  II.  This 
event  begins  the  third  period  of  Perak 

As  regards  the  truth  of  this  story,  there  seems 
very  little  doubt  that  there  was  a  Raja  Mudza- 
far who  was  disinherited  by  Sultan  Mahmud 
Shah  in  the  manner  described  by  Perak 
tradition.  It  is  also  true  that  this  Raja  Mudza- 
far married  Tun  Trang  and  had  a  son  Raja 
Mansur,  as  the  Perak  tradition  tells  us.  It  also 
seems  true  enough  that  the  Achinese  invaded 
and  conquered  Perak.  The  only  evidence 
against  the  truth  of  this  story  is  negative 
evidence.  The  "  Malay  Annals  "  are  absolutely 
silent  as  to  Raja  Mudzafar  having  gone  to 
Perak,  though  Ihey  give  an  account  of  the 
second  Mudzafar  Shah,  who  was  unquestion- 
ably Sultan  of  Perak  and  who  may  possibly 
have  been  confused  with  the  first. 

The  third  period  of  Perak  history  begins 
with  the  accession  of  Mudzafar  Shah  II. 
(a.d.  1635)  and  goes  down  to  the  death 
of  Mudzafar  Shah  III.  (a.d.  1765).  The 
Sultans  with  whom  tradition  fills  up  this 
period  of  130  years  are  given  in  the  following 
table : 



MuDZAFAR  Shah  II. 
(Tenth  Sultan) 

Muhammad  Iskandar  Shah 
(Eleventh  Sultan) 


Alaedin  Riayat  Shah 
(Twelfth  Sultan) 

Mudzafar  Shah  III. 
(Thirteenth  Sultan) 

Muhammad  Shah 
(Fourteenth  Sultan) 

It  should  be  added  that  the  eleventh  Sultan  is 
said  to  have  reigned  for  iii  years,  and  that  the 
next  three  Sultans  were  his  nephews  bj'  birth 
and  his  sons  by  adoption. 

This  period  presents  great  difficulties.  Raja 
Sulong,  who  married  a  Perak  Princess  and  was 
sent  by  the  King  of  Achin  to  rule  over  Perak, 
is  a  real  figure  in  history.  His  mother  was 
a  daughter  or  niece  of  the  author  of  the  "Malay 
Annals."  But  (if  we  are  to  believe  the  "  Malay 
Annals")  this  Mudzafar  Shah  II.  was  succeeded 
by  Raja  Mansur  "who  is  reigning  now."  The 
Perak  account  itself  speaks  of  the  twelfth, 
thirteenth,  and  fourteenth  Sultans  as  grandsons 
of  a  certain  Mansur  Shah,  who  is  not  given  in 
the  pedigree.  The  Perak  account  also  states 
that  the  Bugis  chiefs,  Klana  Jaya  Putra  and 
Daeng  Chelak,  invaded  Perak  in  the  days  of 
Alaedin  Riayat  Shah.  As  the  Klana  died  in 
A.D.  1628,  the  Ill-year  reign  seems  to  need 
some  modification.  Again,  the  Bugis  Raja 
Lumu  is  said  to  have  been  cheated  Sultan  of 
Selangor  by  Sultan  Mahmud  Shah  of  Perak  in 
A.D.  1743  ;  who  is  this  Mahmud  Shah  ? 

Putting  aside  these  questions  of  royal 
descent,  we  know  that  this  period  (a.d.  1655- 
1665)  was  one  of  extreme  turbulence,  and 
probably  of  civil  war.  In  A.D.  1650  the  Dutch 
opened  a  factory  on  the  Perak  river  ;  in  a.d. 
165 1  the  factory  was  destroyed  and  its  inmates 
massacred.  Hamilton,  writing  in  a.d.  1727, 
speaks  of  Perak  as  "properly  a  part  of  the 
kingdom  of  Johor,  but  the  people  are  untract- 
able  and  rebellious,  and  the  government 
anarchical.  Their  religion  is  a  sort  of 
heterodox  Muhammedanism.  The  country 
produces  more  tin  than  any  in  India,  but  the 
inhabitants  are  so  treacherous,  faithless,  and 
bloody  that  no  European  nation  can  keep 
factories  there  with  safety.  The  Dutch  tried 
it  once,  and  the  first  year  had  their  factory  cut 
off.  They  then  settled  on  Pulau  Dinding, 
but  about  the  year  1690  that  factory  was  also 
cut  off.  The  ruins  of  the  blockhouse  on  the 
island  of  Pangkor  are  still  to  be  seen."  In 
justice  to  the  Malays,  it  should  be  added  that 
the  Dutch,  in  their  anxiety  to  secure  a  trade 
monopoly,  treated  the  selling  of  tin  to  any  one 
but  themselves  as  a  serious  offence,  and  even 
as  a  casus  belli.  It  is  not  therefore  surprising 
that  disputes  were  frequent  and  sanguinary. 

The  first  half  of  the  eighteenth  century  in 
Perak  was  marked  by  internal  anarchy  and 
foreign  invasions.  There  were  three  Kings  in 
the  land — the  Sultan  of  Bernam,  the  Sultan  of 
Perak,  and  the  Regent ;  the  chiefs  were  at  war 
with  each  other,  and  the  Bugis  kept  raiding 
the  country.  About  A.D.  1757  things  had  so  far 
settled  down  that  the  Dutch  were  able  to 
establish  a  factory  at  Tanjong  Putus  on  the 
Perak  river.  They  subsequently  sent  a  mission 
to  Sultan  Mudzafar  Shah  about  a.d.  1764,  and 
concluded  a  treaty  with  his  successor,  Muham- 
mad Shah,  in  a.d.  1765. 

The  exact  position  of  the  next  four  Sultans  in 
the  Perak  pedigree  is  a  matter  of  doubt,  but 
they  seem  to  have  been  either  brothers  or 
cousins  of  one  another,  and  to  have  belonged 
to  the  generation  immediately  following 
Mudzafar  Shah  III.  and  Muhammad  Shah. 
From  the  eighteenth  Sultan  onwards  the  pedi- 
gree is  officially  stated  to  have  been  as  follows  : 

seems  to  have  taken  rather  more  of  this 
revenue  than  the  local  chiefs  would  willingly 
have  given  him,  Raja  Jumaat,  the  principal 
Lukut  chief,  succeeded  at  Sultan  Muhammad's 
death  in  diverting  the  succession  from  the 
Sultan's  son  to  a  weak  nominee  of  his  own, 
who  belonged  to  another  branch  of  the  family. 
The  new  ruler,  Sultan  Abdul-Samad,  did  not 
interfere  with  the  Lukut  Princes,  but  he  allowed 
himself  to  be  infiuenced  by  a  stronger  will 
than  his  own,  and  ultimately  surrendered  all 
true  power  into  the  hands  of  his  son-in-law, 
the  Kedah  Prince,  Tengku  Dzia-ud-din.  He 
thereby  exasperated  many  of  his  subjects,  who 
did  not  like  to  see  a  foreigner  become  the  real 
ruler  of  the  country. 
Politically  the  State  of  Selangor  has  never 

Ahmadin  Shah 
(Eighteenth  Sultan) 


.\bdul  Malik  Mansur  Shah 
(Nineteenth  SuUan) 

Abdullah  Muadzam 
(Twentieth  Sultan) 



Raja  Ahmad 

Raja  Inu 

(Twenty-first  Sultan) 

(Twenty-third  Sultan) 



(Twenty-sixth.  Sultan) 

Raja  Alang 


Sultan  Idris 

(now  reigning) 

(Twenty-fourth  Sultan) 

Raja  Abdurrahman 

Abdullah  Muhammad 
(Twenty-second  Sultan) 

(Twenty-seventh  Sultan) 

The  special  interest  of  this  table  lies  in  its 
illustration  of  the  curious  law  of  succession 
under  which  the  three  branches  of  the  royal 
house  take  it  in  turn  to  provide  the  reigning 

Selangor. — The  present  reigning  dynasty  of 
Selangor  traces  its  descent  to  Raja  Lumu,  son 
of  Daeng  Chelak,  one  of  the  Bugis  chiefs  who 
overthrew  the  old  State  of  Johore  in  a.d.  1722, 
It  should  be  added,  however,  that  Raja  Lumu 
appears  to  have  become  Raja  of  Selangor 
through  his  mother  and  not  through  his  father. 
In  any  case,  he  was  recognised  as  Sultan  of 
Selangor  in  A.D.  1743.  He  maintained  a  close 
alliance  with  his  Riau  relatives  and  with  the 
Bugis  of  Kuala  Linggi.  In  a.d.  1756,  and 
again  in  a.d.  1783,  the  combined  Bugis  forces 
attacked  Malacca,  but  were  repulsed  with 
heavy  loss.  On  the  second  occasion  the  Dutch 
followed  up  their  success  by  attacking  Kuala 
Selangor  and  ultimately  forcing  the  Sultan  to 
come  to  terms. 

There  have  been  five  Sultans  of  Selangor  ■ 
Sultan  Selaheddin,  who  founded  the  dynasty ; 
Sultan  Ibrahim,  who  made  the  treaty  with  the 
Dutch  in  a.d.  1786  ;  Sultan  Muhammad,  who 
reigned  from  a.d.  1826  to  1856  ;  Sultan  Abdul- 
Samad,  who  accepted  British  protection,  and 
Sultan  Sulaiman,  the  present  ruler.  The  prin- 
cipal events  in  the  history  of  this  State  during 
the  last  century  were  the  development  of 
Lukut  as  a  mining  centre  and  the  civil  wars 
between  Raja  Mahdi  and  Tengku  Dzia-ud-din. 
The  Lukut  mining  led  to  a  great  influx  of 
Chinese  immigrants,  who  paid  a  poll-tax  to  the 
Bugis  chiefs  for  their  protection,  and  who 
were  kept  in  order  by  the  splendid  old  fort 
on  the  hills  near  Port  Dickson.    As  the  Sultan 

been  interesting.  Piratical  and  anarchical,  it 
never  developed  any  organised  system  of 
government,  nor  did  the  authority  of  the  Bugis 
chiefs  ever  extend  very  far  beyond  their  own 
little  settlements  on  the  rivers  or  near  the  mines. 

Negri  Sambilan. — About  the  middle  of 
the  seventeenth  century,  after  the  decline  of 
Achin  and  before  the  coming  of  the  Bugis 
pirates,  a  large  number  of  Menangkabau 
Malays  migrated  in  small  detachments  from 
Sumatra  into  the  peninsula,  where  they  founded 
the  little  confederacy  of  States  now  known  as 
the  Negri  Sambilan.  Extremely  proud  of  their 
origin,  for  Menangkabau  is  the  purest-blooded 
kingdom  of  Malaya,  the  descendants  of  these 
immigrants  still  speak  of  themselves  as  "  we 
sons  of  Menangkabau,  who  live  with  the 
heavens  above  us  and  the  earth  beneath  our 
feet,  we  who  once  dwelt  on  the  slopes  of  the 
mighty  volcanoes  as  far  as  the  Great  Pass, 
through  which  we  came  down  to  the  plains 
of  Sumatra  in  the  isle  of  Andalas."  The  early 
settlers  taught  this  formula  to  their  children  so 
that  their  history  might  never  be  forgotten. 
But  they  taught  more.  These  sons  of  Me- 
nangkabau were  passionately  devoted  to  the 
old  legal  sayings,  in  which  is  embodied  a  most 
extraordinary  old  system  of  matriarchal  law. 
Tliey  are  the  most  conservative  people  in 
Malaya.  To  their  everlasting  honour  it  should 
be  added  that  they  most  loyally  observed  the 
covenants  by  which  they  first  obtained  posses- 
sion of  their  lands,  and  that  to  this  day, 
although  all  real  power  has  long  since  passed 
out  of  the  hands  of  the  aborigines,  the  proud 
"sons  of  Menangkabau"  acknowledge  as  ruling 
chiefs  in  Rembau  and  Johol  men  who  are 
avowedly  the  representatives  of    the  humble 



Sakai  race.  The  migrations  seem  to  hiave  been 
peaceful.  Ttie  first  comers  occupied  tlie  nearest 
lands  in  the  district  of  Xaning ;  the  next 
arrivals  settled  in  Rembau  ;  the  latest  settlers 
had  to  go  further  afield — to  Sri  Menanti,  to 
Inas,  to  Sungei  Ujong,  and  to  Jelebu.  In  the 
development  of  their  peculiar  systems  of  con- 
stitutional law  and  statecraft,  treaties  or  con- 
ventions (mitafakat)  probably  played  a  great 
part.  In  Naning  succession  to  the  chieftaincy 
went  by  descent  in  the  female  line  ;  a  Dato'  Sri 
Maharaja  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  sister's 
son.  This  little  State  has  been  absorbed  into 
the  settlement  of  Malacca,  but  the  representa- 
tives of  the  old  rulers  still  receive  a  great  deal 
of  popular  respect  and  were  even  given  a  small 
allowance  of  about  £:ip  a  year  by  the  British 
Government  up  to  a  few  years  ago,  when  the 
allowance  was  withdrawn  because  the  then 
"  Dato'  of  Naning "  omitted  to  call  on  Sir 
William  Maxwell  when  that  officer  was  passing 
through  the  district. 

Next  in  antiquity  to  Naning  comes  Kembau. 
Tradition  has  it  that  the  first  settlers  in  Rembau 
were  headed  by  two  chiefs,  Dato'  Laut  Dalam 
and  Dato'  Lela  Blang.  These  men,  though 
they  settled  in  different  localities,  made  an 
alliance  and  arranged  that  their  descendants 
(in  the  female  line)  should  take  it  in  turn  to  be 
rulers  of  the  country.  With  the  craving  for 
high-sounding  names  that  is  so  striking  a 
feature  of  Malay  character,  these  two  chiefs 
sought  and  obtained  from  the  then  Sultan  of 
Johore  the  titles  that  their  descendants  still  bear. 
The  present  ruler  is  the  thirteenth  Dato'  of 
Rembau  and  the  seventh  "  Dato'  Sedia  Raja," 
the  other  six  being  "  Dato'  Lela  Maharaja." 

The  founders  of  the  State  of  Rembau  were 
followed  to  the  Negri  Sambilan  by  many  other 
headmen  of  small  immigrant  parties,  until  at 
last  a  whole  aristocracy  of  petty  dignitaries 
was  established  in  the  country.  Far  from 
their  homes  in  Sumatra  and  surrounded  by 
possible  foes,  the  early  settlers  had  looked  to 
Johore  for  protection  and  recognition  ;  but  the 
last  comers,  finding  themselves  strong  and 
Johore  weak,  began  to  seek  for  a  Prince  of  their 
own  from  the  royal  line  of  Menangkabau.  In 
their  own  words  : 
"The  villager  owes  obedience  to  the  village 

The  village  elders  to  the  district  chief, 
The  district  chief  to  the  provincial  chief. 
The  provincial  chief  to  the  ruler  of  the  State." 
This  ruler  of  the  State  was  the  Yamtuan  Besar 
of   Sri   Menanti.     He  occupied  a  position   of 
great  dignity,  but  of  very  little  real  authority 
over  great  provincial   chiefs  like  the  Dato'  of 
Rembau  ;    but  of  late  years   he  has   had   his 
office   strengthened   bj'  British   support.      The 
principal  provincial  chiefs  are  : 
The  Dato'  Klana  of  Sungei  Ujong, 
The  Dato'  Akhirzaman  of  Jelebu, 
The  Dato'  Johan  Pahlawan  of  Johol, 
The  Dato'  of  Rembau, 
The  Dato'  Bandar  of  Sungei  Ujong, 
The  Ruler  of  Tampin,  and 
The  Dato'  Muda  of  Linggi. 

Pahang. — The  early  history  of  the  State  of 
Pahang — as  usually  given — is  brief  and  in- 
accurate. Even  so  authoritative  a  work  as  the 
present  edition  of  the  official  "  Handbook  of 
the  Federated  Malay  States  "  sums  it  up  in  two 
statements,  both  of  which  are  incorrect.  It 
says  :  "  The  first  ruler  of  Pahang  of  whom 
there  is  any  record  was  a  son  of  the  Sultan 
Mahmud,  who  fled  to  Pahang  from  Malacca 
after  the  capture  of  that  town  by  the  Portuguese 
in  A.D.  1511.  A  reputed  descendant  of  his  was 
Bendahara  All,  who  died  in  the  year  1850  or 

We  know  from  Portuguese  as  well  as  Malay 
sources  that  when  Albuquerque  arrived  at 
Malacca  he  found  the  city  engaged  in  festivities 
over  the  marriage  of  Sultan  Mahmud's  daughter 
to  a  Sultan  of  Pahang.  The  statement  in  the 
"Handbook "is,  therefore,  singularly  unfortun- 
ate, since  "a  son  of  Sultan  Mahmud"  is  obviously 
the  only  thing  that  the  Sultan  could  not  have 
been.  There  is,  however,  no  mystery  about 
the  origin  of  the  old  line  of  Sultans  of  Pahang. 
The  country  was  conquered  by  Mansur  Shah 
or  Mudzafar  Shah,  and  was  first  created  a 
separate  sultanate  by  the  former  ruler,  who 
bestowed  it  upon  his  eldest  son.  This  family 
continued  to  reign  over  Pahang  till  1699,  when 
Mahmud  Shah  11.,  the  latest  Prince  of  the  line, 
was  murdered  by  his  Bendahara.  Mahmud 
Shah  II,  was  succeeded  as  Sultan  of  Johore  and 
Pahang  by  this  Bendahara,  who  took  the  title 
of  Abdul  Jalil  Riayat  Shah.  As  after  the  Bugis 
conquest  of  Linggi  the  Sultans  were  practi- 
callv  hostages  and  had  to  reside  at  Riau,  they 
deputed  their  principal  ministers  to  gOvCrn  in 
their  name,  the  Bendahara  in  Pahang  and  the 
Temenggong  in  Johore.  These  ministers  con- 
tinued, however,  to  visit  Riau  from  time  to 
time,  and  to  take  part  in  the  decision  of  im- 
portant matters,  such  as  questions  of  succession 
to  the  throne.  At  the  death  of  Sultan  Mahmud 
Riayat  Shah  (a.d.  1812),  the  Bendahara  came 
up  from  Pahang  and  seems  to  have  accepted 
Sultan  Abdurrahman  as  his  suzerain,  though 
he  must  have  personally  favoured  the  other 
candidate,  Tengku  Husain,  who  was  his  own 
son-in-law.  When  the  Riau  family  divided 
into  the  Singapore  branch  under  British  pro- 
tection and  the  Linggi  branch  under  Dutch 
control,  the  Bendaharas  of  Pahang  acknow- 
ledged the  Linggi  rulers,  while  the  Temeng- 
gongs  of  Johore  threw  in  their  lot  with  the 
English.  In  time,  however,  both  of  these 
great  feudatories  began  to  pay  less  attention 
to  their  titular  suzerains  and  to  assume  the 
position  of  independent  Princes,  until  at  last 
the  British  Government  recognised  the  real 
position  by  converting  the  Bendahara  into  a 
Sultan  of  Pahang  and  the  Temenggong  into  a 
Sultan  of  Johore. 

Malay  history  is  a  record  of  great  vicissitudes 
of  fortune.  Time  after  time  the  connecting 
link  between  one  period  and  another  is  a 
mere  band  of  fugitives,  a  few  score  refugees. 
Such  was  the  case  in  151 1,  in  1526,  in  1615, 
in    1673,  and   in    1721.     It   should    not,   there- 

fore, be  imagined  that  the  new  States  that 
were  built  up  after  each  successive  disaster 
were  made  up  entirely — or  even  largely- -of 
men  of  true  Malay  blood.  The  bond  connect- 
ing the  peninsular  States  is  imity  of  language 
and  religion  more  than  unity  of  blood.  The 
Northern  Malay  is  physically  unlike  the  Southern 
Malay  ;  the  one  has  been  compared  to  a  cart- 
horse and  the  other  to  a  Batak  pony.  The 
Malay  population  of  Perak,  Pahang  and  the 
Negri  Sambilan  must  be  largely  Sakai,  that  of 
Selangor  is  Sakai  or  Bugis — where  it  is  not 
made  up  of  recent  immigrants.  Moreover,  the 
Malays  have  accepted  many  of  the  traditions 
and  beliefs  of  the  people  who  preceded  them 
in  the  possession  of  the  land  ;  they  still  worship 
at  the  hol\-  places  of  the  people  of  the  country 
and  believe  in  the  same  spirits  of  disease.  Any 
one  who  is  a  Mahomedan  and  speaks  the  Malay 
tongue  is  accepted  as  a  Malay,  whatever  his 
ancestry  ;  there  is  no  real  unity  about  Malay 
tradition.  Still,  there  are  three  systems  of 
government  that  are  essentially  Malayan.  The 
first  is  what  one  may  call  "  river  "  government. 
The  State  was  a  river  valley  ;  the  Sultan  hved 
near  the  mouth  and  levied  toll  on  all  the 
produce  that  travelled  up  and  down  the  great 
highway  of  communication.  Such  a  State 
could  be  controlled  with  comparative  ease, 
since  the  great  feudal  chiefs  who  governed 
the  reaches  and  the  tributaries  of  the  main 
stream  were  dependent  for  their  imports  and 
exports  on  the  goodwill  of  the  King.  Pahang, 
Trengganu,  Kelantan  and  Perak  all  furnished 
good  examples  of  this  type  of  feudal  govern- 
ment. The  second  type  of  Malay  kingdom 
was  the  predatory  State— a  Malay  Sultan  with 
a  sort  of  military  aristocracy  living  on  the 
foreign  settlers  in  his  own  country  or  terroris- 
ing smaller  Malay  communities  into  paying 
blackmail  or  tribute.  Malacca,  Johore  Lama, 
Achin,  Riau  and  Pasai  were  instances  of  this 
type  of  predatory  rule  ;  the  Larut  and  Lukut 
settlements  in  the  nineteenth  century  show  how 
it  could  be  applied  to  comparatively  modern 
conditions.  The  third  type  is  represented  by 
the  matriarchal  communities  of  Menangkabau 
or  Negri  Sambilan.  Self-sufficing,  independent 
of  trade,  and  rather  averse  to  war,  a  Negri 
Sambilan  village  might  be  established  at  some 
distance  from  any  navigable  river,  and  was 
not  usually  amenable  to  the  control  of  central 
authorities.  It  led  to  the  evolution  of  a  most 
interesting  and  successful  type  of  government 
that  one  might  almost  call  constitutional. 
But  annalists  do  not,  as  a  rule,  take  much 
interest  in  the  humble  politics  of  village  com- 
munities, nor  do  they  care  much  about  the  civil 
wars  of  river  States.  It  is  always  the  lawless 
predatory  government  that  makes  most  noise 
in  the  world.  The  great  names  of  Malay 
history  are  those  of  men  like  Mansur  Shah  of 
Malacca  and  Mahkota  Alam  of  Achin.  None 
the  less,  the  best  political  work  of  the  Malay 
race  was  done  in  the  little  villages  that  have 
no  history — the  matriarchal  communities  in 
the  highlands  of  Sumatra  and  in  the  valleys 
of  the  Ne.ari  Sambilan. 



SSOCIATED  in  an  ad- 
ministrative sense  with 
tlie  Straits  Settlements, 
tiiougli  geograpliically 
somewhat  remote  {rom 
the  chief  centres  of 
authority  in  British 
iMalaya,  are  a  number 
of  islands  in  the  Indian 
Ocean,  which,  though  of  small  area,  present 
many  points  of  interest.  These  outposts  of 
the  Straits  Settlements  are  Christmas  Island, 
an  isolated  islet  off  the  coast  of  Java,  and  a 
group  of  coral  atolls  known  as  the  Cocos-Keel- 
ing  Islands,  a  considerable  distance  to  the 
south,  about  midway  between  Java  and  Aus- 
tralia. Held  under  leases  from  the  Govern- 
ment, these  islands  are  centres  of  considerable 
commercial  activity,  and  contribute  in  a  modest 
way  to  the  prosperity  of  the  Straits  Settlements 
as  a  whole. 

Christmas  Island  came  conspicuously  before 
the  public  eye  in  the  United  Kingdom  a  few 
years  ago  as  the  result  of  a  scientific  expedition 
sent  out,  in  igoo,  to  investigate  the  flora  and 
fauna  and  geological  characteristics  of  the 
place.  IVTr.  Charles  \V.  Andrews,  B.A.,  B.Sc, 
F.G.S.,  of  the  British  Museum,  the  chief  mem- 
ber of  the  expedition,  on  his  return  prepared 
an  elaborate  monograph  embodying  the  results 
of  the  investigations  of  the  party,  and  this  was 
officially  published.  The  work,  besides  giving 
a  mass  of  valuable  scientific  facts,  supplies 
much  information  relating  to  the  history  of  the 
island.  From  it  may  be  extracted  some  details 
which  are  of  general  interest.  The  island  lies 
in  the  eastern  part  of  the  Indian  Ocean  in 
S.  latitude  io°  25',  E.  long.  105°  42'.  Java,  the 
nearest  land,  is  about  igo  miles  to  the  north, 
while  some  900  miles  to  the  south-east  is  the 
coast  of  North-west  Australia.  A  little  to  the 
south  of  west,  at  a  distance  of  550  miles,  are 
the  two  atolls  of  Cocos  and  North  Keeling, 
and  to  the  north  of  these  Glendinning  Shoal. 
The  submarine  slopes  of  the  island  are  very 
steep,  and  soundings  of  upwards  of  1,000 
fathoms  occur  within  two  or  three  miles  of  the 
coast.  To  the  north  is  Maclear  Deep,  in  which 
3,200  fathoms  were  found,  and  to  the  south  and 
south-west   is    the    more    extensive     Wharton 

Deep,  with  upwards  of  3,000  fathoms.  The 
island,  in  fact,  forms  the  summit  of  a  sub- 
marine peak,  the  base  of  which  rises  from  the 
low  saddle  which  separates  these  two  abysses, 
and  on  the  western  end  of  which  the  Cocos- 
Keeling  Islands  are  situated.  The  first  men- 
tion of  Christmas  Island  occurs  in  a  map  by 
Pieter  Goos,  published  in  Holland  in  1666,  in 
which  it  is  called  Moni.  In  subsequent  maps 
this  name  and  that  of  Christmas  Island  are 
applied  to  it  indifferently,  but  it  is  not  known 
by  whom  the  island  was  discovered  and  named. 
Dampier  landed  at  the  island  in  1688,  and  a 
description  of  it  is  to  be  found  in  his 
"Voyages."  Next  the  island  was  visited  in 
1718  by  Captain  Daniel  Beckman,  who  in  a 
book  he  wrote  on  the  subject  gives  a  sketch  of 

(From  Captain  Beckman's  "Voyage  to  Borneo,") 

the  island  "in  which  the  heights  are  ridicu- 
lously exaggerated."  In  1771  the  Figot,  East 
Indiaman,  attempted  to  find  an  anchorage  but 
failed.  The  crews  of  this  and  other  passing 
vessels  reported  the  occurrence  of  wild  pigs, 
coconut  palms,  and  lime-trees,  none  of  which 
really  existed.  The  first  attempt  at  an  explora- 
tion was  made  by  the  frigate  Amethyst  m  1857. 
From  this  vessel  a  boat's  crew  was  landed 
with  the  object  of  attempting  to  reach  the 
summit,  but  the  inland  cliffs  proved  an  insu- 
perable obstacle,  and  the  ascent  was  aban- 
doned. In  1886  the  surveying  vessel  Flying 
Fish  (Captain  Maclear)  was  ordered  to  make 
an  examination  of  the  island.  A  number  of 
men  were  landed,  and  collections  of  the  plants 
and  animals  were  obtained,  but  since  the  island 
seemed  of   little  value    no   serious  attempt  at 

exploration  was  made.  In  the  following  year 
H.M.S.  Eoi-ria  (Captain  Pelham  Aldrich)  called 
at  the  island  and  remained  about  ten  days. 
Captain  Aldrich  and  his  men  cut  a  way  to  the 
top  of  the  island,  and  sent  home  a  number  of 
rock  specimens  obtained  on  the  wa\',  and  Mr. 
J.  J.  Custer,  who  accompanied  the  expedition 
as  naturalist,  made  e.xtensive  collections  both 
of  the  fauna  and  flora,  but  had  not  time  to 
penetrate  to  the  middle  of  the  island.  The 
island  was  formally  annexed  by  H.M.S.  Iin- 
pcriciisc  in  June,  1888,  and  placed  under  the 
Straits  Settlements  Government.  In  1890  H.M.S. 
Kedfolc  called  at  the  island  for  a  few  hours, 
and  Mr.  H.  N.  Ridley,  of  the  Singapore  Botani- 
cal Gardens,  who  was  on  board,  collected  a 
number  of  plants  not  previously  recorded.  It 
seemed  desirable  that  a  more  complete  exami- 
nation of  the  spot  should  be  undertaken,  and 
in  1896  Sir  John  Murray  generously  offered  to 
pay  the  expenses  of  an  expedition.  Mr.  C.  W. 
Andrews,  author  of  the  monograph  already 
referred  to,  obtained  leave  from  the  trustees  of 
the  British  Museum  to  join  the  expedition.  Mr. 
Andrews  left  England  in  the  beginning  of  May, 
1897,  and  arrived  off  the  island  on  July  29th. 
His  sojourn  extended  over  ten  months,  and 
during  that  period  he  and  his  companions 
accumulated  a  most  valuable  series  of  natural 
history  and  geological  specimens,  which  now 
form  a  part  of  the  national  collections  at  South 

Mr.  Andrews  describes  the  climate  of  the 
island  as  both  pleasant  and  healthy.  Durin" 
the  greater  part  of  the  year,  he  says,  the 
weather  is  much  like  that  of  a  hot  drv  English 
summer,  tempered  nearly  always  by  a  steady 
sea  breeze  from  the  ESE.,  which  is  generally 
fairly  cool  and  keeps  the  temperature  very 
even  day  and  night.  Except  for  showers  at 
night,  almost  the  whole  rainfall  occurs  from 
December  to  May  inclusive.  During  these 
months  there  are  sometimes  heavy  downpours 
lasting  several  days,  but  as  a  rule  the  mornings 
are  fine.  In  the  dry  season  (May  to  December) 
the  vegetation  is  kept  fresh  by  very  heavy  dews 
and  occasional  showers  at  night. 

The  soil  is  a  rich  brown  loam,  often  strewn 
with  nodules  of  phosphates,  and  here  and 
there  with  fragments  of  volcanic  rock.     One  of 



the  most  notable  features  about  the  island  is  the 
depth  to  which  in  man}'  places  the  soil  extends. 
A  well  was  sunk  by  Mr.  Ross  for  40  feet  without 
reaching  the  bed-rock.  Mr.  Andrews  surmises 
that  this  great  depth  of  soil  is  accounted  for  by 
the  decomposition  of  volcanic  rock. 

At  the  time  of  the  visit  by  H.M.S.  Egciia  in 
1887  the  island  was  totally  uninhabited.  In 
November,  1888,  following  upon  the  annexa- 
tion of  the  island,  a  settlement  was  established 
at  Flying  Fish  Cove  by  Mr.  G.  Clunies  Ross,  of 
Cocos-Keeling  Islands,  and  since  that  date  this 
gentleman's  brother,  Mr.  Andrew  Clunies  Ross, 
with  his  family  and  a  few  Cocos  Island  Malays, 
has  resided  there  almost  continuously.  By 
them  houses  were  built,  wells  were  dug  and 
small  clearings  for  planting  coffee,  coconut 
palms,'  banams  and  other  plants  were  made  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Flying  Fish  Cove.  In 
February,  1891,  Sir  John  Murray  and  Mr.  G. 
Clunies  Ross  were  granted  a  lease  of  the  island 
by  the  British  Government,  and  in  1895-96  Mr. 
Sidney  Clunies  Ross  made  explorations  in  the 
higher  part  of  the  island,  resulting  in  the  dis- 
covery of  large  deposits  of  phosphate  of  lime. 
Finally,  in  1897,  the  leaseholders  sold  their 
lease  to  a  small  company^  in  the  possession  of 
which  the  island  still  remains. 

Writing  on  the  flora  and  fauna  of  the  island, 
Mr.  Andrews  says  that  they  are  on  the  whole, 
as  might  be  expected,  most  nearly  related  to 
those  of  the  Indo-Malayan  islands,  but  of  this 
there  are  some  exceptions  in  the  case  of  certain 
groups.  "  Of  the  319  species  of  animals  re- 
corded 145,  or  about  45  per  cent.,  are  described 
as  endemic.  This  remarkably  high  percentage 
of  peculiar  forms  is,  however,  no  doubt  largely 
due  to  the  fact  that  in  some  groups,  particulai  ly 
the  insects,  the  species  inhabiting  Java  and 
the  neighbouring  islands  are  still  imperfectly 
known,  and  many  now  described  for  the  first 
time  from  Christmas  Island  will  probably  be 
found  to  exist  in  other  localities." 

The  main  group  of  the  Cocos-Keeling  Islands 
is  situated  between  12°  14'  and  12°  13'  S.  and 
96°  49'  57"  E.  A  smaller  island  belonging  to 
the  group  is  in  n°  50'  N.  and  91°  50'  E.  The 
islands  were  discovered  in  1609  by  Captain 
Keeling  on  his  voyage  from  Batavia  to  the 
Cape,  and  until  quite  recent  times  had  an  inde- 
pendent existence  as  an  outlying  possession  of 
the  Crown.  In  1878,  following  upon  their 
occupation  for  commercial  purposes,  they  were 
attached  to  the  Government  of  Ceylon.  Four 
years  later  the  supervision  of  the  group  was 
handed  over  to  the  Straits  Settlements  Govern- 

ment, who  were  rightly  regarded  as  being 
better  placed  to  discharge  the  not  too  exacting 
duties  required.  At  different  times  the  islands 
were  visited  by  scientific  travellers  making  a 
tour  of  investigation.  The  most  distinguished 
of  these  visitors  was  Charles  Darwin,  who 
during  the  famous  voyage  of  the  Beagle  put  in 
at  the  islands  in  1836  and  remained  there  some 
little  time.  It  was  from  observations  made 
during  his  sojourn  in  the  group  that  he  formed 
his  famous  theory  of  the  formation  of  coral 
reefs — a  theory  which  it  may  be  remarked 
is  discredited  by  subsequent  investigations  and 
experience  on  the  same  spot. 

The  islands  are  held  under  a  lease  from  the 
Ci'own  of  one  thousand  years  by  Mr.  George 
Clunies  Ross,  and  this  gentleman,  with  the 
members  of  his  family,  carry  on  a  lucrative 
trade  mainly  in  the  produce  of  the  coconut 
tree,  which  flourishes  in  the  islands.  Only 
three  of  the  islands — Settlement,  West,  and 
Direction  islands — are  inhabited.  The  total 
population  of  the  group  in  1903  was  669, 
of  whom  567  are  Cocos  born,  the  remainder 
representing  Bantamese  coolies  and  other  im- 
ported labour.  The  entire  population  is  en- 
gaged under  Mr.  Ross's  direction  in  the 
cultivation  of  the  coconut  and  the  preparation 
of  copra  for  export.  In  the  Government  report 
on  the  islands  for  1901  the  number  of  coconuts 
gathered  on  the  islands  was  given  at  seven 
millions.  But  in  the  early  part  of  1902  a  severe 
cyclone  swept  across  the  group,  uprooting  no 
fewer  than  300,000  trees.  This  was  a  severe 
blow  to  the  trade  of  the  islands,  and  it  will  be 
years  probably  before  the  mischief  is  entirely 

Long  completely  isolated,  the  islands  have 
been  quite  recently  brought  into  intimate 
touch  with  the  rest  of  the  world  by  the  estab- 
lishment of  a  station  of  the  Eastern  Telegraph 
Company  on  Direction  Island.  This  link  with 
civilisation  was  forged  as  the  result  of  the 
sittings  of  the  Cables  Communication  Com- 
mittee, which,  in  its  report  issued  in  1902, 
recommended  the  construction  of  a  cable 
from  Rodriguez  to  Perth  in  Western  Australia 
via  the  Cocos  Group.  The  station  is  equipped 
with  the  latest  appliances  in  telegraphy,  and 
a  speed  of  120  letters  a  minute  can  be 
maintained  on  either  cable  without  risk  of 
error  from  indistinct  signals.  It  is  hoped  that 
some  day  a  cable  from  the  islands  will  be  con- 
structed to  Ceylon  and  an  "all-British  route" 
thus  provided.  Meanwhile,  there  is  reason  to 
believe  (says  Mr.  A.  S.  Baxendale,  of  the  Feder- 

ated Malay  States  service,  in  his  official  report 
on  the  islands  for  1903)  that  the  islands  will 
soon  become  an  important  signalling  station 
for  vessels  steaming  between  Colombo  and 
Fremantle.  "The  islands  lie  directly  in  the 
track  of  these  vessels,  and  sometimes — as  for 
instance  occurred  in  April  in  the  case  of  the 
Peninsular  and  Oriental  Steam  Navigation  Com- 
pany's steamship  Himalaya — the  name  of  the 
passing  mail  steamers  can  be  read  from  the 
shore.  It  is  probable  that  if  the  steamship 
companies  concerned  desired  that  their  vessels 
should  be  afforded  facilities  for  communicating 
by  means  of  wireless  telegraphy  with  the  Cable 
Company's  office,  the  company  would  be  will- 
ing to  establish  on  Direction  Island  a  station  on 
the  Lodge-Muirhead  system." 

Besides  the  islands  referred  to  above,  the 
Straits  Settlements  Government  has  since  1906 
been  associated  with  the  administration  of 
Labuan,  an  island  lying  about  six  miles  from 
the  north-west  coast  of  Borneo  in  the  Malay 
Archipelago.  The  island,  from  1890  until  the 
period  of  its  transfer  to  the  Straits  Settlements, 
was  under  the  government  of  the  British  North 
Borneo  Company.  Though  not  large — the  total 
area  is  only  30J  square  miles — the  territory 
is  one  of  some  commercial  promise.  It  has 
rich  coal  deposits,  and  there  is  considerable 
scope  for  planting  enterprise.  The  trade  at 
present,  apart  from  coal,  is  largely  in  sago, 
gutta  percha,  indiarubber,  wax,  &c.,  imported 
from  Borneo  and  other  islands  and  exported 
to  Singapore.  The  population  in  1901  was 
estimated  at  8,411.  It  consisted  chiefly  of 
Malays  from  Borneo,  but  there  was  a  consider- 
able Chinese  colony,  and  there  were  also  thirty 
European  residents.  The- capital  of  the  island 
is  a  settlement  of  1,500  inhabitants  to  which  the 
name  Victoria  has  been  given.  The  trade  of 
the  island  amounted  in  1905  to  ;^'I30,I35  in 
exports  and  ;£io8,766  in  imports,  as  compared 
with  £153,770  exports  and  £' 157,068  imports  in 
the  previous  year.  The  tonnage  entered  and 
cleared  in  1905  was  321,400,  against  311,744  in 
1904.  The  great  bulk  of  the  trade  being  with 
Singapore,  the  trade  with  the  United  Kingdom 
direct  is  infinitesimal.  The  revenue  of  the  place 
is  derived  from  retail  licences  and  customs 
duties  on  spirits,  wine,  tobacco,  &c.  The  tiny 
colony  is  in  the  happy  position  of  having  no 
public  debt.  It  also  possesses  the  advantage  of 
direct  communication  with  the  outer  world,  as 
the  cable  from  Hongkong  to  Singapore  touches 
on  its  shores,  and  there  is  also  telegraphic  com- 
munication with  the  mainland. 








O  R  L  D  -  W  I  D  E  as  the 
colonising  influence  of 
the  United  Kingdom 
lias  been,  it  is  doubtful 
whether  its  beneficent 
results  have  ever  been 
more  stril^ingly  manifest 
than  in  British  Malaya. 
The  Straits  Settlements 
can  look  back  over  a  century  of  phenomenal 
prosperity  under  British  rule,  and  the  prospect 
for  the  future  is  as  bright  as  the  record  of  the 
past.  Pinang  and  Singapore  have  been  the 
keys  which  have  unlocked  the  portals  of  the 
Golden  Peninsula,  so  that  its  wealth  in  well- 
laden  argosies  has  been  distributed  to  the  four 
corners  of  the  earth.  And  by  a  natural  process 
the  spirit  of  enterprise  and  progress  has  com- 
municated itself  to  the  Hinterland,  which  is 
being  rapidly  opened  up  and  bids  fair  to 
become  a  veritable  commercial  El  Dorado. 
From  this  territory  the  world  derives  no  less 
than  two-thirds  of  its  total  supply  of  tin,  while 
vast  areas  of  land  are  being  placed  under 
cultivation  for  rubber,  which  promises  to 
become  a  great  and  increasing  source  of 
revenue  year  by  year. 

Until  the  early  part  of  1907  the  Straits  Settle- 
ments were  in  the  happy  position  of  having  a 
balance  of  3,200,000  dollars  to  their  credit.  In 
the  opening  months  of  the  year,  however,  they 
raised  a  loan  of  £7,861,457  for  the  purpose  of 
acquiring  the  Tanjong  Pagar  Docks  and 
improving  the  Singapore  harbour.  The  sum 
paid  for  the  docks  amounted  to  about  three 
millions  and  a  half  sterling,  and  in  respect  of 
this  the  undertaking  will  be  called  upon  to  pay 
4  per  cent,  per  annum.  For  the  expenditure 
upon  the  harbour  the  Government  will  be  in 
some  measure  reimbursed  by  the  sale  of 
reclaimed  land,  which  is  expected  to  produce 
a  large  sum.  The  revenue  of  the  colony  has 
increased  from  7,041,686  dollars  in  igoi  to 
9,631,944  dollars  in  1906,  while  the  expenditure 
within  that  period  has  grown  from  7,315,000 
dollars  to  8,747,820  dollars.  More  than  one- 
half  the  total  revenue  is  derived  from  the  opium 

The  financial  position  of  the  Federated 
Malay  States  is  exceptionally  sound.  Perak, 
Selangor  and  Negri  Sambilan  show  excess 
assets  amounting  to  36,576,569  dollars,  and  the 
excess    liabilities    of    Pahang,    amounting    to 

5,788,303  dollars,  represent  only  loans  advanced 
free  of  interest  by  the  other  three  States  for  the 
development  of  the  country.  The  revenue  of 
the  Federated  Malay  States  has  increased  from 
5.013,000  dollars  in  1889  to  27,223,476  dollars  in 
1906.  To  the  latter  sum  the  export  duty  on 
lin  contributed  no  less  than  10,036,607  dollars. 
The  expenditure  has  risen  from  4,091,078 
dollars  in  1889  to  18,899,425  dollars  in  1906. 

Except  for  an  excise  duty  on  opium  and 
alcoholic  liquors,  all  the  ports  of  the  colony 
are  free,  and  the  only  charge  on  shipping  is  a 
light  due  of  a  penny  a  ton  in  and  out.  It  is 
this  freedom  which  in  a  large  measure  explains 
the  pre-eminence  of  the  colony  over  its  older 
Dutch  rivals,  where  trade  is  hampered  by 
heavy  duties  on  imports.  The  exports  of 
merchandise  from  the  colony,  excluding  inter- 
port  trade,  were  valued  in  1906  at  281,273  and 
the  imports  at  3 17,851  million  dollars.  Together 
these  exceeded  by  14,392  million  dollars  the 
return  for  1902,  when  the  figures  were  273,622 
and  3ir, no  million  dollars  respectively.  The 
gross  aggregate  trade,  including  the  movement 
of  treasure,  showed,  however,  a  falling  off  of 
about  2,645  million  dollars  when  compared 
with  the  figure  for  1902.  In  order  to  appreciate 
correctly  the  comparisons  instituted,  it  is 
necessary  to  bear  in  mind  that  the  value  of 
the  dollar  in  1902  was  only  is.  8Jd.,  whereas  in 
1906  it  was  2s.  4d. 

It  is  gratifying  to  observe  the  increasing 
growth  of  the  import  trade  with  the  United 
Kingdom.  The  commodities  purchased  from 
the  mother  country  exceeded  in  value  those 
from  the  Continents  of  Europe  and  America 
by  III  million  dollars  during  the  ten  years 
1887-96  and  by  129'5  million  dollars  in  the 
following  decade.  The  exports  to  the  United 
Kingdom  are  worth  about  double  as  much  as 
those  to  America,  which  comes  next  amongst 
Western  nations  as  a  purchaser  of  the  colony's 
products  and  ranks  second  only  to  Germany  as 
a  shipper.  The  greatest  portion  of  the  colony's 
trade  is  with  the  Malay  Peninsula,  the  United 
Kingdom,  the  Netherlands  Indies,  British  India 
and  Burma,  Siam,  Hongkong,  China,  and  the 
United  States  of  America  in  the  order  given. 

In  the  Federated  Malay  States  the  only 
import  duties  are  on  spirits  and  opium,  except 
in  Pahang,  where  tobacco  is  also  taxed.  Duties 
are  collected  on  all  the  commodities  sent  out 
of  the  country.  The  duty  on  tin  varies  accord- 

ing  to  the  market  price  of  the  metal,  while 
cultivated  rubber,  tapioca,  gambler,  and  pepper 
pay  an  ad  valorem  export  duty  of  2j  per  cent. 
The  value  of  the  exports  (excluding  bullion) 
from  the  Federated  Malay  States  in  igo6  was 
79,178,891  dollars  as  compared  with  29,402,343 
dollars,  ten  years  previously.  To  this  total  tin  ore 
contributed  no  less  than  7 1, 104,  [91  dollars,  culti- 
vated rubber  1,855,486  dollars,  sugar  1,044,625 
dollars,  and  tapioca,  coffee,  copra,  gambler,  padi, 
pepper,  gutta  percha,  and  dried  fish  5,000,000 
dollars.  The  equivalent  of  331,234  dollars  was 
exported  in  gold  from  the  mines  of  Pahang.  The 
imports  amounted  to  44,547, 133  dollars  as  against 
20,074,531  dollars  in  1897,  and  consisted  chiefly 
of  opium,  provisions,  cotton  textiles,  hardware, 
and  iron-ware.  The  bulk  of  these  exports  and 
imports  are  shipped  through  Singapore  and 

Shipping  is  as  the  breath  of  life  to  the  Straits 
Settlements.  Singapore  is  the  seventh  port  of 
the  world,  and  is  a  port  of  call  for  vessels 
trading  between  Europe  or  India  and  the 
Far  East,  the  north  of  Australia,  and  the 
Netherlands  Indies.  Pinang  is  the  emporium 
for  all  the  trade  for  the  northern  parts  of 
Sumatra  and  the  Malay  Peninsula.  The  total 
tonnage  of  the  shipping  cleared  at  Singapore, 
Pinang,  and  Malacca  in  1906  was  11,191,776 — an 
increase  of  466,490  tons  over  the  return  for  the 
previous  year.  The  aggregate  tonnage  of  the 
shipping  cleared  at  Singapore,  which  is  a  port 
of  call  for  most  of  the  shipping  of  the  colony, 
was  6,661,549,  or  2,667,944  more  than  in  1896. 
During  the  period  under  review  the  tonnage  of 
British  shipping  increased  from  2,630,472  to 
3,602,126  tons,  and  of  German  from  484,447  to 
974,241  tons.  Amongst  the  smaller  competitors 
Japan  has  made  the  most  headway,  advancing 
from  the  position  of  eighth  on  the  list,  with  a 
tonnage  of  only  54,172  tons,  to  that  of  fifth  with 
a  tonnage  of  238,454  tons. 

At  the  present  time  British  shipping  in  the 
colony  is  unfairly  handicapped  by  the  immunity 
which  foreign  competitors  enjoy  from  regula- 
tions which  vessels  flying  the  red  ensign  are 
obliged  to  observe.  Under  the  existing  law 
foreign  shipping  can  demand  a  clearance 
though  overloaded  to  the  deck-line,  and  it  runs 
no  risk  of  detention  on  the  ground  that  hull, 
equipment,  or  machinery  is  defective.  These 
inequalities  will  be  removed  by  a  measure, 
framed  on  the  model  of  the  Merchant  Shipping 



Acts  of  1894  and  1906,  which  is  now  engaging 
the  attention  of  the  Attorney-General  of  the 
Straits  Settlements.  This  measure  will  provide, 
also,  for  the  consolidation  of  the  merchant 
shipping  laws  of  the  colony,  which  are  now 
in  a  state  bordering  upon  chaos,  and  will 
probably  contain  a  clause  prohibiting  masters 
and  mates  of  foreign  ships  from  obtaining  local 
pilotage  certificates. 

All  the  important  shipping  lines  calling  at 
Singapore  and  Pinang  have  combined  for 
some  years  past  to  charge  uniform  rates  for 
the  conveyance  of  freight  and  passengers  to 
and  from  the  colony.  Their  practice  is  to  grant 
n  rebate  equal  to  10  per  cent,  per  annum  to 
all  shippers  who  use  their  lines  exclusively, 
5  per  cent,  being  paid  at  the  end  of  the  first  six 
months  and  another  five  in  respect  of  that 
period  six  months  later.  In  this  way  the  steam- 
ship companies  always  hold  a  considerable  sum 
in  hand,  and  prevent  the  local  shipper  from 
seeking  relief  elsewhere.  The  possibility  of 
competition  being  thus  precluded,  the  combine 
is  in  a  position  to  name  its  own  terms,  and  the 
natural  consequence  has  been  a  considerable 
increase  in  freight  rates.  In  proof  of  this  it 
may  be  mentioned  that  the  charge  for  carrying 
tin  has  been  raised  from  6s.  5d.  per  picul 
(133J  lbs.)  in  1892  to  28s.  4d.  in  1906.  But 
this  does  not  constitute  the  whole  of  the 
indictment  alleged  against  the  combine.  A 
system  of  preference  is  adopted  whereby  some 
local  firms  benefit  at  the  cost  of  others.  For, 
in  addition  to  the  rebates  already  referred  to, 
a  further  5  per  cent,  on  the  total  freight 
carried  by  the  combine  is  distributed  amongst 
a  limited  number  of  privileged  firms  or  persons. 
Again,  as  all  transhipment  cargo  is  excluded 
from  the  tariff,  the  combine  is  free  to  accept  at 
any  rate  foreign  goods  shipped  via  Singapore 
on  through  bills  of  lading.  The  British  manu- 
facturer is  handicapped  by  the  fact  that  certain 
goods,  such  as  tin  and  gums,  can  be  delivered 
in  America  at  a  cheaper  rate  than  they  can  be 
placed  in  any  port  of  the  United  Kingdom 
except  London.  This  is  notably  the  case  with 
tin,  which  .costs  5s.  a  ton  more  to  Swansea 
than  to  New  York.  These  facts  are  generally 
admitted,  but  it  is  urged  in  mitigation  of 
them  that  the  combine  has  provided  the  colony 
with  better,  faster,  and  more  regular  shipping 
opportunities  than  existed  in  the  days  of 
cheaper,  but  more  speculative,  freights,  and 
that  this  has  tended  to  create  easier  financial 
facilities.  On  the  other  hand  it  is  contended 
that  these  advantages  are  the  outcome  of  a 
natural  process  of  evolution.  Since  the  forma- 
tion of  the  combine  the  shipments  from  ihe 
colony,  which  were  incre.ising,  have  fallen,  and 
the  matter  is  engaging  the  attention  of  a  Royal 

As  has  already  been  stated,  the  Government 
of  the  Straits  Settlements  have  recently  acquired 
the  Tanjong  Pagar  Docks,  and  are  carrying  out 
a  number  of  works  for  the  improvement  of 
Singapore  harbour.  A  progressive  policy  is 
also  being  adopted  in  regard  to  the  port  of 
Pinang,  where,  however,  some  little  feeling  of 
dissatisfaction  prevails  in  consequence  of  what 
is  thought  to  be  the  preferential  treatment  of 
Singapore.  On  the  Malay  Peninsula  the 
harbours  are  chiefly  interesting  by  reason  of  the 
possibilities  which  they  offer  for  future  develop- 

ment. It  seems  to  be  generally  agreed  that 
Port  S  wettenham  is  destined  to  outstrip  its  rivals, 
the  intention  of  the  Government  being  appa- 
rently to  concentrate  there  the  shipping  of  the 
central  and  southern  portion  of  the  Federated 
Malay  States,  by  developing  to  the  utmost  the 
natural  advantages  of  the  port.  The  east  coast, 
the  navigation  of  which  is  attended  with  much 
danger  to  small  shipping  during  certain  seasons 
of  the  year,  is  singularly  destitute  of  accommo- 
dation for  shipping,  but  at  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Kuantan,  in  Pahang,  there  is  a  deep-water  front 
extending  for  some  considerable  distance. 
Steps  are  being  taken  to  remove  the  sand-bar 
at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  these  may  be 
followed  by  the  construction  of  a  groyne  to 
prevent  further  silting. 

Opium  is  a  very  fruitful  source  of  revenue  to 
the  Straits  Settlements,  contributing  no  less  a 
sum  than  five  or  six  million  dollars,  or  rather 
more  than  one-half  of  the  total  revenue  of  the 
colony.  In  the  Federated  Malay  States,  also, 
the  Government  derives  about  two  and  a  half 
million  dollars  annually  from  the  drug.  The 
quantity  imported  into  the  Federated  Malay 
States,  however,  is  three  times  as  great  as  in 
the  Straits  Settlements.  The  difference  in  the 
sum  yielded  is  attributable  to  several  causes. 
In  the  colony  the  exclusive  right  to  import, 
manufacture,  and  sell  opium  is  farmed  out  to 
the  highest  bidder,  but  in  the  Federated  Malay 
States,  except  in  the  coast  districts — a  com- 
paratively small  area  —  anyone  may  import 
opium  on  payment  of  the  import  duty,  which 
nou'  stands  at  560  dollars  a  chest.  Again,  the 
miners  in  the  Federated  Malay  States  are  paid 
to  a  considerable  extent  in  kind,  including 
opium,  and  the  opium  smokers  are  more  ex- 
travagant than  in  the  Straits  Settlements,  where 
the  drug  is  a  much  more  expensive  luxury.  It 
must  be  remembered  also  that  the  figures  of 
opium  consumption  in  the  Straits  Settlements 
are  those  of  the  drug  imported  by  the  farmers  ; 
but  it  is  a  well  known  fact  that  thousands  of 
dollars'  worth  of  opium — much  of  it  from  the 
Federated  Malay  States — are  smuggled  into  the 
colony,  and  this  cannot  well  be  stopped,  as 
there  is  no  Customs  department  in  the  Straits 
Settlements.  In  the  Federated  Malay  States 
there  is  a  Customs  department,  and  there  is  less 
inducement  to  smuggle  owing  to  the  low  price 
at  which  the  drug  is  retailed  there. 

The  Chinese  are  inveterate  gamblers,  and 
recognising  this  fact,  the  Federated  Malay 
States  Government  have  legalised  gambling  in 
properly  licensed  premises.  The  monopoly  of 
conducting  these  gambling  houses  is  farmed 
out,  after  being  submitted  to  tender.  A  sub- 
stantial revenue  accrues  to  the  Government 
from  this  source.  In  the  Straits  Settlements, 
however,  gambling  is  prohibited,  and  the  law 
is  enforced  by  severe  penalties. 

The  tin  raining  industry  in  the  Federated 
Malay  States  provides  employment  for  212,660 
labourers,  the  greater  proportion  of  whom  work 
upon  the  "tribute"  system,  under  which  their 
earnings  are  to  some  extent  dependent  upon  the 
success  or  failure  of  the  mine.  The  total  area 
of  land  alienated  for  mining  purposes  at  the 
close  of  igo6  was  263,800  acres,  more  than  one- 
half  of  which  area  is  in  the  State  of  Perak. 
Upon  only  a  small  portion  of  this  acreage,  how- 
ever, are  mining  operations  actually  in  progress. 

The  primitive  methods  adopted  by  the  Chinese 
for  the  winning  of  tin  ore  are  now  being 
superseded  largely  by  more  modern  systems, 
which  have  been  rendered  necessary  by  the  ex- 
haustion of  the  more  easily  won  tin-bearing 
deposits.  It  seems  almost  certain  that  the 
future  of  the  tin  mining  industry  in  the  Fede- 
rated Malay  States  will  depend  upon  the 
economical  development,  on  a  large  scale,  of 
low-grade  propositions.  The  methods  of  work- 
ing in  vogue  fall  into  three  classes — the  open- 
cast system,  the  underground  workings,  and  the 
alluvial  washings  known  as  "tampans."  In 
not  a  few  instances  also  the  pay-dirt  is  washed 
down  from  the  sides  of  the  hills  by  hydraulic 
pressure,  the  water  being  sometimes  brought 
from  great  distances  in  order  to  secure  a  suffi- 
cient head.  After  the  "karang"  has  been 
washed  down  it  is  treated  in  the  ordinary  way 
by  means  of  wash-boxes  or  riffles. 

Next  to  the  tin  industry,  and  promising  soon 
to  outrival  it  in  importance  as  a  commercial 
and  revenue  producing  factor,  is  the  great 
rubber-planting  industry.  Though  quite  in  its 
infancy  it  is  already  taking  a  prominent  posi- 
tion in  the  finances  of  the  federated  territory, 
as  will  be  seen  from  the  figures  given  else- 
where. A  simple  statement  of  fact  will  bring 
home  to  readers  the  truly  remarkable  develop- 
ment which  the  States  are  undergoing  as  a 
result  of  the  rise  of  rubber.  At  the  end  of  1905 
there  were  in  the  States  40,000  acres  under 
rubber  ;  twelve  months  later  the  area  under 
cultivation  was  100,000  acres.  Xor  is  the  end 
yet  by  a  long  way.  Immense  areas  still  await 
the  attention  of  the  pioneering  planter,  and 
without  doubt  they  will  receive  it.  Thus  a 
splendid  future  awaits  planting  enterprise  in 
the  Federated  States  unless  some  great  calamity 
occurs,  or,  what  at  the  moment  seems  highly 
improbable,  some  efficient  substitute  for  rubber 
is  discovered. 

Owing  to  the  difficulty  which  has  been 
experienced  by  certain  estates  in  the  Federated 
Malay  States  in  obtaining  an  adequate  supply 
of  labour,  the  Government  have  decided  to 
levy  a  poll-tax,  not  exceeding  five  dollars  per 
coolie,  on  all  employers  of  this  class  of  labour, 
for  the  purpose  of  forming  a  fund  for  the  estab- 
lishment of  a  labour  recruiting  agency.  From 
this  source  mine  managers  and  estate  agents 
will  be  able  to  obtain  all  the  labour  they  require 
for  the  development  of  their  properties,  without 
incurring  the  expenditure  of  bringing  over  from 
India  Tamils  who  frequently  abscond  in  order 
to  take  up  temporary  employment  of  a  more 
remunerative  nature  before  they  have  repaid 
the  sums  advanced  to  them  for  the  cost  of 
transit,  &c. 

The  Government  of  the  Federated  Malay 
States  have  not  failed  to  keep  pace  with  private 
enterprise.  The  country  is  intersected  with 
excellent  roads,  which  are  being  rapidly  ex- 
tended, and  a  well-equipped  railway  runs  from 
Prye,  the  northern  extremity  of  Perak,  opposite 
Pinang,  to  the  borders  of  Johore,  with  branch 
lines  to  the  various  ports  on  the  seaboard.  This 
railway  was  constructed  entirely  out  of  the 
revenue  of  the  States,  and  has  already  paid 
dividends  equal  to  40  per  cent,  of  the  capital 
expenditure.  Several  extensions  of  the  system 
are  under  consideration,  and  it  is  almost  certain 
that  before  long  a  line   will  be   carried  into 



Pahang,  the  least-developed  of  the  four  Slates 
comprised  in  the  Federation.  At  the  time  of 
writing,  a  line  of  120  miles  in  length  is  being 
constructed  through  the  independent  State  of 
Johore  with  money  advanced  by  the  Federated 
Malay  States.  When  this  project  is  completed, 
some  time  in  1909,  it  will  be  possible  to  travel 
by  rail  from  Singapore  to  Prye,  and  it  is  con- 
sidered probable  that  some  day  in  the  future 
connection  may  be  established  with  Calcutta  by 
means  of  a  trunk  line  through  the  intervening 

Scarcely  any  steps  were  taken  by  the  Govern- 
ment to  provide  education  in  the  colony  until 
1872,  in  which  j'ear  the  Education  Department 
was  formed.  In  1906  the  Education  Depart- 
ments of  the  colony  and  the  Federated  States 
were  amalgamated  under  one  head,  and  Mr. 
J.  B.  Elcum,  B.A.  Oxon.,  was  appointed 
Director  of  Public  Instruction.  It  is  hoped 
shortly  to  assimilate  entirely  the  educational 
systems  in  the  two  territories.  The  codes  now 
in  force,  though  very  similar,  contain  certain 
important  differences,  and  the  methods  of 
administration  show  even  greater  differences. 
In  igo6  there  were  in  the  Straits  Settlements 
35  English-teaching  schools  and  174  vernacu- 
lar schools,  while  in  the  Federated  Malay 
States  the  numbers  were  22  and  263  re- 
spectively. All  the  vernacular  schools,  except 
a  few  in  which  Tamil  and  Chinese  are 
taught,  are  purely  Government  schools  for 
the  teaching  of  Malay.  The  ISnglish  schools 
and  the  Chinese  and  Tamil  vernacular 
schools  receive  a  grant-in-aid  from  the  Govern- 
ment based  on  attendance,  merit,  organisa- 
tion, and  discipline.  Apart  from  expenditure 
upon  school  buildings,  the  net  cost  of  education 
during  1906  was  in  the  Straits  Settlements 
328,635  dollars,  or  15.42  dollars  per  pupil, 
and  in  the  Federated  Malay  States  263,876 
dollars,  or  15.45  dollars  per  pupil. 

The  total  average  number  of  children  in 
the  Government  schools  of  all  kinds  has 
materially  increased  of  late  years.  In  igo6  it 
was  approximately  38,380,  but  exact  figures 
are  not  available  for  Pahang,  where  educa- 
tion is  still  very  backward.  The  average 
attendance  of  pupils  was  83-6  per  cent. 
These  figures  appear  small  in  comparison 
with  the  population,  but  it  must  be  remem- 
bered that  only  among  the  Eurasians  and 
Malays,  who  alone  are  settled  under  normal 
conditions,  is  the  proportion  of  children  to 
adults  as  large  as  in  most  countries.  The 
cause  of  education  is  severely  handicapped, 
too,  by  the  fact  that  the  Malays  and  Chinese 
are  almost  indifferent  as  to  the  instruction  of 
their  female  children  ;  the  Chinese,  however, 
are  very  much  alive  to  the  advantage  of  an 
English   education   for    their    sons.      Thus     it 

happens  that,  although  nearly  half  the 
children  of  school-going  age  are  girls,  only 
4,260  girls  attended  school  in  1906,  as  com- 
pared with  34,120  boys. 

At  all  the  large  and  important  English 
schools  there  are  classes  for  the  continued 
instruction  of  boys  who  have  passed  Standard 
VII.,  and  generally  between  loo  and  200 
candidates  are  presented  each  year  at  the 
Cambridge  Senior  and  Junior  Examinations 
held  at  Singapore  and  Pinang.  These 
examinations  were  dropped  in  the  Federated 
Malay  States  for  a  few  years,  but  Kuala 
Lvunpor  was  again  made  a  centre  in  1907. 
The  great  inducement  to  take  up  secondary 
work  in  the  Straits  Settlements  has  been  the 
Queen's  Scholarship,  of  the  value  of  ;f25o 
per  year,  tenable  for  not  more  than  five 
years  at  an  English  University.  Hitherto 
two  of  these  scholarships  have  been  awarded 
each  year,  but  it  is  now  proposed  to  dis- 
continue one  and  devote  the  money  to  the 
improvement  of  local  education.  An  occa- 
sional scholarship  on  the  same  lines  has  also 
been  given  in  the  Federated  Malay  States. 
Special  grants  and  prizes  are  offered  for  boys 
who  are  trained  in  a  commercial  class  in 
shorthand,  typewriting,  bookkeeping,  and 
composition,  but,  so  far,  very  little  advantage 
has  been  taken  of  these  offers  in  the 
Federated  Malay  States.  Attempts  to  provide 
technical  instruction  have  not  proved  popular, 
but  a  large  and  satisfactory  science  class  has 
been  estabhshed  at  Raffles  Institute,  Singapore. 

The  Straits  Settlements  are  administered  by 
a  Governor,  an  Executive  Council,  composed 
entirely  of  officials,  and  a  Legislative  Council 
containing  a  minority  of  representatives  of  the 
general  community  appointed  by  the  Governor. 
The  germ  of  the  principle  of  popular  election 
is  seen  in  the  privilege  accorded  to  the  Singa- 
pore and  Pinang  Chambers  of  Commerce  of 
each  nominating  a  member  for  the  Legislative 
Council,  The  Governor  of  the  Straits  Settle- 
ments is  also  High  Commissioner  of  the 
Federated  Malay  States.  Subordinate  to  him 
are  the  Resident-General  and  four  British 
Residents — one  for  each  of  the  States  com- 
prised in  the  Federation.  The  system  of 
government  is  tantamount  to  a  bureaucracy, 
and  the  territory  is  for  all  practical  purposes 
as  British  as  the  neighbouring  colony  itself. 
The  Sultans  rule  but  do  not  govern,  and 
although  it  is  provided  that  no  measure  can 
become  law  until  it  has  been  passed  by  the 
Council  of  each  State  to  which  it  applies, 
these  bodies  are,  in  reality,  merely  advisory. 

As  regards  local  government  there  are  in 
Singapore,  Pinang,  and  Malacca  Municipal 
Commissions,  with  powers  very  similar  to 
those  .possessed  by  Urban  District  Councils  in 

Great  Britain.     The  members  are  partly  nomi- 
nated by  the  Governor  and  partly  elected  by 
popular   vote.     This   vote  is  limited  to    adult 
male  British  subjects  occupying  or  possessing 
property  of  a  certain  rateable  value.     In  the 
Federated   Malay   States  the   chief  centres  of 
population     are     administered     by     Sanitary 
Boards,    consisting  of  civil   servants  and    an 
unofficial  minority  chosen  by  the  Government. 
The  trend  of  things  at  the  present  day  is, 
undoubtedly,  in  the  direction  of  extending  the 
principle    of    federation.     Each    year    similar 
departments,     which    formerly    existed    inde- 
pendently of  one  another  in  each  of  the  States, 
are  being  amalgamated,  in  order  to  establish 
uniformity   and    promote    efficiency.     At    the 
present   time    the    Public     Works,    Railways, 
Post  Office,  Land  and  Survey,  Mines,  Forests, 
Agriculture,  Fisheries,  Finance,  Police,  Prisons, 
Trade  and  Customs,  Immigration,  Education, 
Museum,  and  Printing  Departments  are  each 
under  one   head.     The  Judiciary,  the  military 
forces,   and   the   Chinese   Secretariat   are  also 
Federal  institutions.     By  an  elaborate  system 
of   bookkeeping  an  attempt   is   made  to  keep 
the    finances    of   the    different    States   distinct 
from  one   another,  but    their    interests   are  so 
very     closely    interwoven      that     it     is     only 
possible  to  appear  to  do  this  on  paper.     It  is 
probably  only  a  matter   of  time    before  even 
this   attempt   will    be   abandoned,    and,    con- 
temporaneously with  this,  one   may  expect  to 
see  the  establishment  of  a  system  of  Federal 
Government,  something  on  the  lines  of  the 
Executive    and    Legislative     Councils    in    the 
Straits  Settlements.     The  mining  and  planting 
communities,   to   whom,  of   course,   the   pros- 
perity of  the  Federated  Malay  States  is  mainly 
due,   appear    to    think   that  they   are   entitled 
to  some  more  effective  voice  in   the  manage- 
ment of  the  country  than  they  possess  under 
the    existing    system.      But    the    principle   of 
unification     seems     not     unlikely    to     spread 
even    beyond   these   limits.     Not   only    is  the 
Governor    of    the    Straits    Settlements     High 
Commissioner  for  the  Federated  Malay  States, 
but   quite   recently   a   Director   of  Education, 
an    Inspector-General    of    Hospitals,    a    Con- 
servator   of    Forests,     and     a    Secretary     for 
Chinese   Affairs  have  been   appointed  for   the 
Straits     Settlements     and     Federated     Malay 
States   conjointly.     An   arrangement,   too,  has 
been  made  whereby  the  Puisne  Judges  of  the 
Straits   Settlements  and  the  Judicial  Commis- 
sioners  of   the    Federated   Malay   States     will 
be  interchangeable.     Gradually  the  colony  and 
the  Federated  Malay  States,  with  their  mutual 
commercial     interests      and      interdependent 
business  relationships,  are  being  drawn  more 
and  more   closely  together  for  administrative 
purposes  to  their  common  advantage. 







IPPENDED  is  a  list  of 
tiie  Governors  and  Ad- 
ministrators  of  the 
Straits  Settlements  since 
these  were  taken  over 
by  the  Colonial  Office 
in  1867  : 
Colonel  Harry  St.  George  Ord,  R.E.,  C.B., 

April  I,  1867,  to  March  3,  1871. 
Lieut. -Colonel      Archibald     Edward     Har- 
BORD        Anson,       R.A.,       Administrator, 
March  4,   1871,  to  March  22,  1872. 

Major-General  Sir  Harry  St.  George  Ord, 
C.B.  (G.C.M.G.),  March  23,  1872,  to 
November  2,  1873. 

Lieut. -Colonel  Archibald  Edward  Harbord 
Axson,  R.A.,  Administrator,  November  3, 
1873,  to  November  4,  1873. 

Colonel  Sir  Axdrew  Clarke,  K.E.,  K.C.M.G., 
C.B.,  November  4,  1873,  to  May  10, 

Colonel  Sir  Francis  Drummond 
Jervois,  R.E.,  K.C.M.G.,  C.B.  (Major- 
General,  G.C.M.G.),  May  10,  1875,  to 
April  3,  1877. 

Colonel  Archibald  Edward  Harbord  Anson, 
R.A.,  C.M.G.,  Administrator,  April  3, 
1877,  to  October  29,  1877. 

Sir  William  Cleaver  Francis  Robinson, 
K.C.M.G.,  October  2g,  1877,  to  February 
10,  1879. 

Major-General  Sir  Archibald  Edward  Axsox, 
R..A.,  K.C.M.G.,  Administrator,  February 
10,  1879,  to  ^lay  6,  1880. 

Frederick  Aloysius  Weld,  C.M.G.,  Adminis- 
trator, May  6,  1880,  to  March  28,  1884. 

Cecil  Clemexti  Smith,  C.M.G.,  Administrator, 
March  29,  1884,  to  November  12,  1885. 

Sir  Frederick  Aloysius  Weld,  K.C.M.G., 
November  13,  1885,  to  May  13,  1887. 

John  Frederick  Dickson,  C.M.G.,  Adminis- 
trator, May  14,  1887,  to  June  19,  1887. 

Sir  Frederick  Aloysius  Weld,  G.C.M.G., 
June  20,  1887,  to  October  17,  1887. 

Sir  Cecil  Clementi  Smith,  K.C.M.G.,  October 
20,  1887,  to  Acril  8,  1890. 

Sir  J.  F  DERick  „iCKSON,  K.C.M.G.,  Aamin- 
istrator,  April  8,  1890,  to  November  11, 
1S90.  ^^ 

Sir  Cecil  Clementi  Smith,  WC.M.G. 
(G.C.M.G.),  November  12,  1890,  to 
August  30,  1893. 

William  Edward  Maxwell,  C.M.G. 
(K.C.M.G.),  Administrator,  August  30, 
1893,  to  January  31,   1894. 

Lieut. -Colonel  Sir  Charles  Bullex  Hugh 
Mitchell,  K.C.M.G.  (G.C.M.G.),  Feb- 
ruary I,  1894,  to  March  27,  1898. 

Sir  James  Alexander  Swettenham,  K.C.M.G., 
Administrator,  March  28,  1898,  to  Decem- 
ber 29,  i8g8. 

Lieut. -Colonel  Sir  Charles  Bullen  Hugh 
Mitchell,  G.C.M.G.,  December  30,  i8g8, 
to  December  7,  1899. 

Sir  James  Alexander  Swettenham,  K.C.M.G., 
Administrator,  December  8,  1899,  to  Feb- 
ruary 18,  1901. 

Sir  Frank  Athelstaxe  Swettenham, 
K.C.M.G.,  Administrator,  February  18, 
1901,  to  September  25,  1901. 

Sir  Fraxk  Athelstane  Swettenham, 
K.C.M.G.,  September  26,  1901,  to  October 
12,  1903. 

William  Thomas  Taylor,  C.M.G.,  Adminis- 
trator, October  13,  1903,  to  April  15,  1904. 

Sir  John  Anderson,  K.C.M.G.,  April  15,  1904, 
to  March  I,  1906. 

Sir  William  Taylor,  K.C.M.G.,  Administrator, 
March  2,  1906. 

Sir  John  .\ndersox,  K.C.M.G.,  present  time. 



HE  history  of  the  con- 
stitution and  law  of  our 
Straits  Settlements  is 
like  the  history  of  the 
British  Empire  itself  in 
this  respect — that  it  is 
one  of  gradual  growth 
and  accretion,  of  a  sub- 
stantial superstructure 
built  upon  small  but  sound  foundations  bor- 
rowed from  those  massive  and  enduring 
pedestals  upon  which  tower  the  might  and 
consequence  of  Greater  Britain.  From  being 
originally  an  appanage  of  the  Honourable  the 
East  India  Company,  the  Straits  Settlements 
have  come  to  be  a  leading  Crown  colony  of 
the  Empire.  Passing,  with  the  demise  of 
"  John  Company,"  under  the  control  of  our 
Indian  Government,  the  Straits  Settlements 
were  finally  transferred  to  the  care  of  the 
Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies  by  an 
Order  in  Council  dated  April  i,  1867. 

The  seat  of  government  is  the  town  of 
Singapore,  on  the  island  of  the  same  name, 
and  the  Government  consists  of  a  Governor, 
with  an  Executive  and  a  Legislative  Council. 
This  latter  body  is  composed  of  nine  official 
and  seven  unofficial  members,  of  whom  two 
are  nominated  by  the  Singapore  and  Pinang 
Chambers  of  Commerce.  The  nine  official 
members  constitute  the  Executive  or  Cabinet. 
In  each  of  the  settlements  there  are  also  muni- 
cipal bodies,  some  of  the  members  of  which 
are  elected  by  the  ratepayers,  while  others  are 
appointed  by  the  Governor. 

To  make  matters  clear,  it  may  be  well  to  out- 
line briefly  the  colony's  general  history,  with 
which  is  seen  the  gradual  development  of  her 
constitution  and  law.  At  the  present  time  the 
colony  consists  of  the  island  and  town  of 
Singapore,  the  province  of  Malacca,  the  island 
and  town  of  Pinang,  the  Dindings,  Province 
Wellesley,  the  island  of  Labuan,  the  Cocos 
Islands,  and  Christmas  Island — the  two  last 
having  been  acquired  in  1886  and  1889  respec- 
tively. Pinang  was  the  first  British  settlement 
on  tire  Malayan  peninsula,  being  ceded  to  the 
British  by  the  Raja  of  Kedah  in  1785.  Malacca, 
which  had  been  held  successively  by  the  Portu- 
guese and  the  Dutch,  was  acquired  by  Great 
Britain  under  treaty  with  Holland  in  1824, 
though  it  had  been  held  previously  by  the 
English  from  1795  till  1818.  The  founding  of 
Pinang  led  to  a  transference  of  most  of  the 
trade  which  had  previously  gone  to  Malacca. 
In  1819  Singapore  was  acquired,  and  in  1826 

this  settlement,  together  with  Malacca,  was 
incorporated  with  Pinang  under  one  govern- 
ment, of  which  Pinang  remained  the  centre 
of  administration  until  1830,  when  Singapore 
became  the  headquarters  of  the  Government. 

With  the  systems  of  administration  which 
obtained  in  Pinang  and  Malacca  before  that 
date  we  need  trouble  ourselves  but  little. 
Malacca  had  been  held  by  European  nations 
since  1511,  and  Pinang  had  been  under  the 
East  India  Company  since  its  acquirement  in 
1785  ;  but  it  was  not  until  the  fusion  of  the 
three  settlements  under  one  head  that  the  con- 
stitution and  law  of  the  colony  became  concrete 
and  solidified.  At  the  time  of  the  British 
occupation  of  Singapore,  Pinang  and  Malacca 
were  administered  by  a  Governor  appointed  by 
the  Governor-General  of  India.  There  was 
also  a  Lieutenant-Governor  (Sir  Stamford 
Raffles)  at  Bencoolen,  and  it  was  under  his 
regime  that  Singapore  was  first  placed,  when  it 
became  a  British  settlement,  with  Major  Far- 
quhar  as  Resident.  In  those  days  the  govern- 
ment of  a  people  or  community  in  the  Malayan 
archipelago  was  carried  out  very  much  by  rule 
of  thumb.  The  Resident  or  Governor  was 
absolute,  and  a  free  application  of  the  Mosaic 
law  was  considered  adequate  to  meet  such 
cases  as  came  up  for  adjudication.  As  the  Straits 
Settlements  grew  in  population  and  importance, 
however,  properly  constituted  courts  of  law  had 
to  be  established,  and  the  laws  as  applied  in 
India  were  adopted  generally,  with  adaptations 
to  meet  local  requirements.  In  1819  the  Resi- 
dent of  Singapore  performed  the  dual  duties 
of  Magistrate  and  Paymaster,  his  only  official 
colleague  being  the  Master  Attendant,  who  had 
also  to  act  in  the  capacity  of  Keeper  of  Govern- 
ment Stores.  A  few  years  later,  however,  the 
Governor  appointed  a  number  of  civil  magis- 
trates to  administer  the  laws  of  the  infant 

Only  a  year  after  Singapore  was  founded 
there  arose  a  difference  of  opinion  between  the 
Governor  and  the  Resident  in  respect  of  a 
matter  which  has  been  a  fruitful  source  of 
controversy  ever  since — namely,  the  opium  and 
spirit  traffic.  The  Resident  proposed  to  establish 
farms  for  these  commodities.  Sir  Stamford 
Raffles  wrote  from  Bencoolen  that  he  con- 
sidered this  proposal  highly  objectionable 
(though  there  were  such  farms  at  Pinang  and 
Malacca),  and  inapplicable  to  the  principles 
upon  which  the  establishment  at  Singapore 
was  founded.  But  the  leases  of  the  farms  were 
sold,  nevertheless,  and  rents  were  exacted 
from  the  opium  and  arrack  shops  and 
gaming  tables.  Law  and  order  in  the  settle- 
ment were  now  maintained  by  a  superintendent 
of  police  with  less  than  a  dozen  native  con- 

stabulary, which  body  in  1821  was  augmented 
by  a  force  of  ten  night  watchmen  paid  for  by 
the  merchants  of  the  place. 

Two  of  the  civil  magistrates  sat  in  the  court 
with  the  Resident  to  decide  civil  and  criminal 
cases,  and  two  acted  in  rotation  each  week  to 
discharge  the  minor  duties  of  their  office. 
Juries  consisted  either  of  five  Europeans,  or 
of  four  Europeans  with  three  respectable 
natives.  Indiscriminate  gambling  and  cock- 
fighting  were  strictly  prohibited.  In  1823, 
owing  to  the  Resident  having  bee